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  Subjects -> PHARMACY AND PHARMACOLOGY (Total: 575 journals)
Showing 401 - 253 of 253 Journals sorted alphabetically
Microbial Drug Resistance     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Molecular Informatics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Molecular Pharmacology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Molekul     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Natural Product Communications     Open Access  
Nature Reviews Drug Discovery     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 318)
Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology     Hybrid Journal  
NeuroMolecular Medicine     Hybrid Journal  
Neuropharmacology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Neuropsychopharmacology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Neuropsychopharmacology Reports     Open Access  
Nigerian Journal of Natural Products and Medicine     Full-text available via subscription  
OA Drug Design & Delivery     Open Access  
OA Medical Hypothesis     Open Access  
Obesity Facts     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
Open Pharmacoeconomics & Health Economics Journal     Open Access  
Open Pharmacology Journal     Open Access  
OpenNano     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Orbital - The Electronic Journal of Chemistry     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Oriental Pharmacy and Experimental Medicine     Partially Free   (Followers: 2)
Pain and Therapy     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Particulate Science and Technology: An International Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
PDA Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 36)
Pediatric Drugs     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Pediatric Pharmacology     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta     Open Access  
Pharmaceutical Biology     Open Access  
Pharmaceutical Care-La Farmacoterapia     Open Access  
Pharmaceutical Chemistry Journal     Hybrid Journal  
Pharmaceutical Development and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 21)
Pharmaceutical Executive     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Pharmaceutical Fronts     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Pharmaceutical Historian     Open Access  
Pharmaceutical Journal     Free   (Followers: 8)
Pharmaceutical Journal of Sri Lanka     Open Access  
Pharmaceutical Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology     Hybrid Journal  
Pharmaceutical Patent Analyst     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Pharmaceutical Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 97)
Pharmaceutical Statistics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Pharmaceutical Technology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Pharmaceuticals     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Pharmacia     Open Access  
PharmacoEconomics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 26)
PharmacoEconomics & Outcomes News     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
PharmacoEconomics German Research Articles     Full-text available via subscription  
PharmacoEconomics Spanish Research Articles     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 34)
Pharmacogenetics and Genomics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Pharmacogenomics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Pharmacogenomics Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Pharmacognosy Communications     Partially Free  
Pharmacognosy Magazine     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Pharmacognosy Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Pharmacological Reports     Hybrid Journal  
Pharmacological Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Pharmacological Research - Modern Chinese Medicine     Open Access  
Pharmacological Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Pharmacology     Full-text available via subscription  
Pharmacology & Therapeutics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Pharmacology & Pharmacy     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Pharmacology Research & Perspectives     Open Access  
Pharmacon : Jurnal Farmasi Indonesia     Open Access  
Pharmacopsychiatry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Pharmacotherapy The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 38)
Pharmactuel     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Pharmacy     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Pharmacy & Pharmacology     Open Access  
Pharmacy Education     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Pharmacy Practice (Internet)     Open Access   (Followers: 8)
Pharmakon : Arzneimittel in Wissenschaft und Praxis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
PharmaNutrition     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
PharmaTutor     Open Access  
Pharmazeutische Industrie     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Pharmazeutische Zeitung     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
Pharmazie in Unserer Zeit (Pharmuz)     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18)
Physiology International     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Plant Products Research Journal     Full-text available via subscription  
Planta Medica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Planta Medica International Open     Open Access  
Prescriber     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Psychopharmacology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Pulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
PZ Prisma : Materialien zur Fort- und Weiterbildung     Full-text available via subscription  
Redox Report     Open Access  
Regulatory Mechanisms in Biosystems     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 41)
Research & Reviews : A Journal of Drug Design & Discovery     Full-text available via subscription  
Research & Reviews : A Journal of Pharmaceutical Science     Full-text available via subscription  
Research & Reviews : A Journal of Pharmacognosy     Full-text available via subscription  
Research & Reviews : A Journal of Pharmacology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Research Journal of Pharmacognosy     Open Access  
Research Results in Pharmacology     Open Access  
Reviews of Physiology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Reviews on Clinical Pharmacology and Drug Therapy     Full-text available via subscription  
Revista Colombiana de Ciencias Químico-Farmacéuticas     Open Access  
Revista Cubana de Plantas Medicinales     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Revista de Ciências Farmacêuticas Básica e Aplicada     Open Access  
Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Farmaceuticas     Open Access  
Revue de Médecine et de Pharmacie     Full-text available via subscription  
Safety and Risk of Pharmacotherapy     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal     Open Access  
Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Scientia Pharmaceutica     Open Access  
Seminars in Hematology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Seminars in Oncology Nursing     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Separation Science plus (SSC plus)     Hybrid Journal  
Side Effects of Drugs Annual     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Substance Abuse : Research and Treatment     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Suchttherapie     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Sustainable Chemistry and Pharmacy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Synfacts     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
SynOpen     Open Access  
The Botulinum J.     Hybrid Journal  
The Brown University Psychopharmacology Update     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
The Medical Letter     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 18)
The Pink Sheet     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
The Pink Sheet Daily     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Therapeutic Advances in Vaccines     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Therapeutic Drug Monitoring     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Therapeutic Innovation & Regulatory Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Thérapie     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
TheScientist     Free   (Followers: 6)
Toxicological & Environmental Chemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Toxicological Research     Hybrid Journal  
Toxicological Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11)
Toxicology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19)
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25)
Toxicology and Industrial Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Toxicology in Vitro     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
Toxicology International     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Toxicology Letters     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Toxicology Research     Partially Free   (Followers: 8)
Toxicon     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Toxicon : X     Open Access  
Toxin Reviews     Hybrid Journal  
Translational Psychiatry     Open Access   (Followers: 14)
Trends in Peptide and Protein Sciences     Open Access  
Trends in Pharmacological Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 21)
Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research     Open Access  
Ukrainian Biopharmaceutical Journal     Open Access  
Vascular Pharmacology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
World Mycotoxin Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Yakugaku Zasshi     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Zeitschrift für Phytotherapie     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Актуальні питання фармацевтичної та медичної науки та практики     Open Access  
Фармацевтичний часопис     Open Access  

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Theranostics
Number of Followers: 0  

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ISSN (Print) 1838-7640
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  • Adenylosuccinate lyase is oncogenic in colorectal cancer by causing
           mitochondrial dysfunction and independent activation of NRF2 and
           mTOR-MYC-axis

    • Authors: Stephanie Taha-Mehlitz; Gaia Bianco, Mairene Coto-Llerena, Venkatesh Kancherla, Glenn R. Bantug, John Gallon, Caner Ercan, Federica Panebianco, Serenella Eppenberger-Castori, Marco von Strauss, Sebastian Staubli, Martin Bolli, Ralph Peterli, Matthias S. Matter, Luigi M. Terracciano, Markus von Flüe, Charlotte K.Y. Ng, Savas D Soysal, Otto Kollmar, Salvatore Piscuoglio
      Pages: 4011 - 4029
      Abstract: Rationale: Adenylosuccinate lyase (ADSL) is an essential enzyme for de novo purine biosynthesis. Here we sought to investigate the putative role of ADSL in colorectal carcinoma (CRC) carcinogenesis and response to antimetabolites.Methods: ADSL expression levels were assessed by immunohistochemistry or retrieved from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) dataset. The effects of ADSL silencing or overexpression were evaluated on CRC cell proliferation, cell migration and cell-cycle. In vivo tumor growth was assessed by the chicken chorioallantoic membrane (CAM). Transfected cell lines or patient-derived organoids (PDO) were treated with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) and drug response was correlated with ADSL expression levels. Metabolomic and transcriptomic profiling were performed to identify dysregulated pathways and ADSL downstream effectors. Mitochondrial respiration and glycolytic capacity were measured using Seahorse; mitochondrial membrane potential and the accumulation of ROS were measured by FACS using MitoTracker Red and MitoSOX staining, respectively. Activation of canonical pathways was assessed by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting.Results: ADSL expression is significantly increased in CRC tumors compared to non-tumor tissue. ADSL-high CRCs show upregulation of genes involved in DNA synthesis, DNA repair and cell cycle. Accordingly, ADSL overexpression accelerated progression through the cell cycle and significantly increased proliferation and migration in CRC cell lines. Additionally, ADSL expression increased tumor growth in vivo and sensitized CRCs to 6-MP in vitro, ex vivo (PDOs) and in vivo (CAM model). ADSL exerts its oncogenic function by affecting mitochondrial function via alteration of the TCA cycle and impairment of mitochondrial respiration. The KEAP1-NRF2 and mTORC1-cMyc axis are independently activated upon ADSL overexpression and may favor the survival and proliferation of ROS-accumulating cells, favoring DNA damage and tumorigenesis.Conclusions: Our results suggest that ADSL is a novel oncogene in CRC, modulating mitochondrial function, metabolism and oxidative stress, thus promoting cell cycle progression, proliferation and migration. Our results also suggest that ADSL is a predictive biomarker of response to 6-mercaptopurine in the pre-clinical setting.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • Impact of hydroxytyrosol on stroke: tracking therapy response on
           neuroinflammation and cerebrovascular parameters using PET-MR imaging and
           on functional outcomes

    • Authors: Cristina Barca; Maximilian Wiesmann, Jesús Calahorra, Lydia Wachsmuth, Christian Döring, Claudia Foray, Ali Heiradi, Sven Hermann, Maria Ángeles Peinado, Eva Siles, Cornelius Faber, Michael Schäfers, Amanda J Kiliaan, Andreas H. Jacobs, Bastian Zinnhardt
      Pages: 4030 - 4049
      Abstract: Immune cells have been implicated in influencing stroke outcomes depending on their temporal dynamics, number, and spatial distribution after ischemia. Depending on their activation status, immune cells can have detrimental and beneficial properties on tissue outcome after stroke, highlighting the need to modulate inflammation towards beneficial and restorative immune responses. Novel dietary therapies may promote modulation of pro- and anti-inflammatory immune cell functions.Among the dietary interventions inspired by the Mediterranean diet, hydroxytyrosol (HT), the main phenolic component of the extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), has been suggested to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in vitro. However, immunomodulatory effects of HT have not yet been studied in vivo after stroke.The aim of this project is therefore to monitor the therapeutic effect of a HT-enriched diet in an experimental stroke model using non-invasive in vivo multimodal imaging, behavioural phenotyping and cross-correlation with ex vivo parameters.Methods: A total of N = 22 male C57BL/6 mice were fed with either a standard chow (n = 11) or a HT enriched diet (n = 11) for 35 days, following a 30 min transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAo). T2-weighted (lesion) and perfusion (cerebral blood flow)-/diffusion (cellular density)-weighted MR images were acquired at days 1, 3, 7, 14, 21 and 30 post ischemia. [18F]DPA-714 (TSPO, neuroinflammation marker) PET-CT scans were acquired at days 7, 14, 21 and 30 post ischemia. Infarct volume (mm3), cerebral blood flow (mL/100g/min), apparent diffusion coefficient (10-4·mm2/s) and percentage of injected tracer dose (%ID/mL) were assessed.Behavioural tests (grip test, rotarod, open field, pole test) were performed prior and after ischemia to access therapy effects on sensorimotor functions.Ex vivo analyses (IHC, IF, WB) were performed to quantify TSPO expression, immune cells including microglia/macrophages (Iba-1, F4/80), astrocytes (GFAP) and peripheral markers in serum such as thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and nitric oxide (NO) 35 days post ischemia. Additionally, gene expression of pro- and anti-inflammatory markers were assessed by rt-qPCR, including tspo, cd163, arg1, tnf and Il-1β.Results: No treatment effect was observed on temporal [18F]DPA-714 uptake within the ischemic and contralateral region (two-way RM ANOVA, p = 0.71). Quantification of the percentage of TSPO+ area by immunoreactivity indicated a slight 2-fold increase in TSPO expression within the infarct region in HT-fed mice at day 35 post ischemia (p = 0.011) correlating with a 2-3 fold increase in Iba-1+ cell population expressing CD163 as anti-inflammatory marker (R2 = 0.80). Most of the GFAP+ cells were TSPO-. Only few F4/80+ cells were observed at day 35 post ischemia in both groups.No significant treatment effect was observed on global ADC and CBF within the infarct and the contralateral region over time. Behavioural tests indicated improved strength of the forepaws at day 14 post ischemia (p = 0.031).Conclusion: An HT-enriched diet significantly increased the number of Iba-1+ microglia/macrophages in the post-ischemic area, inducing higher expression of anti-inflammatory markers while no clear-cut effect was observed. Also, HT did not affect recovery of the cerebrovascular parameters, including ADC and CBF.Altogether, our data indicated that a prolonged dietary intervention with HT, as a single component of the Mediterranean diet, induces molecular changes that may improve stroke outcomes. Therefore, we support the use of the Mediterranean diet as a multicomponent therapy approach after stroke.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • Molecular imaging and biochemical response assessment after a single cycle
           of [225Ac]Ac-PSMA-617/[177Lu]Lu-PSMA-617 tandem therapy in mCRPC patients
           who have progressed on [177Lu]Lu-PSMA-617 monotherapy

    • Authors: Florian Rosar; Fabian Hau, Mark Bartholomä, Stephan Maus, Tobias Stemler, Johannes Linxweiler, Samer Ezziddin, Fadi Khreish
      Pages: 4050 - 4060
      Abstract: Rationale: Despite the promising results of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-targeted 177Lu radioligand therapy in metastatic castration-resistant prostate carcinoma (mCRPC), some patients do not respond and other patients with initially good response develop resistance to this treatment. In this study, we investigated molecular imaging and biochemical responses after a single cycle of [225Ac]Ac-PSMA-617/[177Lu]Lu-PSMA-617 tandem therapy in patients who had progressed on [177Lu]Lu-PSMA-617 monotherapy.Methods: Seventeen patients with mCRPC were included in a retrospective, monocenter study. Molecular imaging-based response was assessed by modified PERCIST criteria using the whole-body total lesion PSMA (TLP) and molecular tumour volume (MTV) derived from [68Ga]Ga-PSMA-11 PET/CT. Biochemical response was evaluated according to PCWG3 criteria using the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) serum value. Concordance and correlation statistics as well as survival analyses were performed.Results: Based on the molecular imaging-based response assessment, 5 (29.4%) patients showed partial remission and 7 (41.2%) had stable disease. The remaining 5 (29.4%) patients had further progression, four with an increase in TLP/MTV of >30% and one with stable TLP/MTV but appearance of new metastases. Based on the biochemical response assessment, 5 (29.4%), 8 (47.1%), and 4 (23.5%) patients showed partial remission, stable disease, and progressive disease, respectively. A comparison of the response assessment methods showed a concordance of 100% (17/17) between TLP and MTV and 70.6% (12/17) between TLP/MTV and PSA. Patients with partial remission, independently assessed by each method, had better overall survival (OS) than patients with either stable or progressive disease. The difference in OS was statistically significant for the molecular imaging response assessment (median OS not reached vs. 8.3 m, p = 0.044), but not for the biochemical response assessment (median OS 18.1 m vs. 9.4 m, p = 0.468).Conclusion: Based on both assessment methods, [225Ac]Ac-PSMA-617/[177Lu]Lu-PSMA-617 tandem therapy is an effective treatment for the highly challenging cohort of patients with mCRPC who have progressed on [177Lu]Lu-PSMA-617 monotherapy. Molecular imaging response and biochemical PSA response were mostly concordant, though a considerable number of cases (29.4%) were discordant. Molecular imaging response reflecting the change in total viable tumour burden appears to be superior to PSA change in estimating survival outcome after tandem therapy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • miR-375 prevents high-fat diet-induced insulin resistance and obesity by
           targeting the aryl hydrocarbon receptor and bacterial tryptophanase (tnaA)
           gene

    • Authors: Anil Kumar; Yi Ren, Kumaran Sundaram, Jingyao Mu, Mukesh K Sriwastva, Gerald W Dryden, Chao Lei, Lifeng Zhang, Jun Yan, Xiang Zhang, Juw Won Park, Michael L Merchant, Yun Teng, Huang-Ge Zhang
      Pages: 4061 - 4077
      Abstract: Background: Diet manipulation is the basis for prevention of obesity and diabetes. The molecular mechanisms that mediate the diet-based prevention of insulin resistance are not well understood. Here, as proof-of-concept, ginger-derived nanoparticles (GDNP) were used for studying molecular mechanisms underlying GDNP mediated prevention of high-fat diet induced insulin resistance.Methods: Ginger-derived nanoparticles (GDNP) were isolated from ginger roots and administered orally to C57BL/6 high-fat diet mice. Fecal exosomes released from intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) of PBS or GDNP treated high-fat diet (HFD) fed mice were isolated by differential centrifugation. A micro-RNA (miRNA) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) array was used to profile the exosomal miRs and miRs of interest were further analyzed by quantitative real time (RT) PCR. miR-375 or antisense-miR375 was packed into nanoparticles made from the lipids extracted from GDNP. Nanoparticles was fluorescent labeled for monitoring their in vivo trafficking route after oral administration. The effect of these nanoparticles on glucose and insulin response of mice was determined by glucose and insulin tolerance tests.Results: We report that HFD feeding increased the expression of AhR and inhibited the expression of miR-375 and VAMP7. Treatment with orally administered ginger-derived nanoparticles (GDNP) resulted in reversing HFD mediated inhibition of the expression of miR-375 and VAMP7. miR-375 knockout mice exhibited impaired glucose homeostasis and insulin resistance. Induction of intracellular miR-375 led to inhibition of the expression of AhR and VAMP7 mediated exporting of miR-375 into intestinal epithelial exosomes where they were taken up by gut bacteria and inhibited the production of the AhR ligand indole. Intestinal exosomes can also traffic to the liver and be taken up by hepatocytes, leading to miR-375 mediated inhibition of hepatic AhR over-expression and inducing the expression of genes associated with the hepatic insulin response. Altogether, GDNP prevents high-fat diet-induced insulin resistance by miR-375 mediated inhibition of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor mediated pathways over activated by HFD feeding.Conclusion: Collectively our findings reveal that oral administration of GDNP to HFD mice improves host glucose tolerance and insulin response via regulating AhR expression by GDNP induced miR-375 and VAMP7.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • Electroacupuncture ameliorates intestinal inflammation by activating
           α7nAChR-mediated JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway in postoperative ileus

    • Authors: Na-Na Yang; Jing-Wen Yang, Yang Ye, Jin Huang, Lu Wang, Yu Wang, Xin-Tong Su, Ying Lin, Fang-Ting Yu, Si-Ming Ma, Ling-Yu Qi, Lu-Lu Lin, Li-Qiong Wang, Guang-Xia Shi, Hong-Ping Li, Cun-Zhi Liu
      Pages: 4078 - 4089
      Abstract: Inflammatory cytokines produced by muscularis macrophages largely contribute to the pathological signs of postoperative ileus (POI). Electroacupuncture (EA) can suppress inflammation, mainly or partly via activation of vagal efferent. The goal of this study was to investigate the mechanisms by which EA stimulation at an hindlimb region ameliorates inflammation in POI.Methods: Intestinal motility and inflammation were examined after 24 h after intestinal manipulation (IM)-induced POI in mice. Local immune response in the intestinal muscularis, expression of macrophages, α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR), Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) were determined by flow cytometry, Western Blot, qPCR and immunofluorescence. The effects of α7nAChR antagonists (methyllycaconitine and α-bungarotoxin) and JAK2/STAT3 inhibitors (AG490 and WP1066) were also administered in a subset of mice prior to EA. In the parasympathetic pathways, intestinal motility and inflammation were determined after cervical vagotomy and sub-diaphragmatic vagotomy. The expression of gamma absorptiometry aminobutyric acid (GABAA) receptor in dorsal motor nucleus of vagal (DMV) cholinergic neurons was assessed by immunofluorescence and the response to DMV microinjection of bicuculine (antagonist of GABAA receptor) or muscimol (agonist of GABAA receptor) were assessed.Results: EA suppressed intestinal inflammation and promoted gastrointestinal motility. Mechanistically, EA activated the α7nAChR-mediated JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway in macrophages which reduced the production of inflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, we also demonstrated that hindlimb region stimulation drove vagal efferent output by inhibiting the expression of GABAA receptor in DMV to ameliorate inflammation.Conclusions: The present study revealed that EA of hindlimb regions inhibited the expression of GABAA receptor in DMV neurons, whose excited vagal nerve, in turn suppressed IM-induced inflammation via activation of α7nAChR-mediated JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • Accurate in vivo tumor detection using plasmonic-enhanced
           shifted-excitation Raman difference spectroscopy (SERDS)

    • Authors: Pietro Strobbia; Vanessa Cupil-Garcia, Bridget M. Crawford, Andrew M. Fales, T. Joshua Pfefer, Yang Liu, Martin Maiwald, Bernd Sumpf, Tuan Vo-Dinh
      Pages: 4090 - 4102
      Abstract: For the majority of cancer patients, surgery is the primary method of treatment. In these cases, accurately removing the entire tumor without harming surrounding tissue is critical; however, due to the lack of intraoperative imaging techniques, surgeons rely on visual and physical inspection to identify tumors. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) is emerging as a non-invasive optical alternative for intraoperative tumor identification, with high accuracy and stability. However, Raman detection requires dark rooms to work, which is not consistent with surgical settings.Methods: Herein, we used SERS nanoprobes combined with shifted-excitation Raman difference spectroscopy (SERDS) detection, to accurately detect tumors in xenograft murine model.Results: We demonstrate for the first time the use of SERDS for in vivo tumor detection in a murine model under ambient light conditions. We compare traditional Raman detection with SERDS, showing that our method can improve sensitivity and accuracy for this task.Conclusion: Our results show that this method can be used to improve the accuracy and robustness of in vivo Raman/SERS biomedical application, aiding the process of clinical translation of these technologies.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • MicroRNA-146a switches microglial phenotypes to resist the pathological
           processes and cognitive degradation of Alzheimer's disease

    • Authors: Chunmei Liang; Ting Zou, Miaoping Zhang, Weihao Fan, Tianzhen Zhang, Yuling Jiang, Yujie Cai, Feng Chen, Xiongjin Chen, Yuanhong Sun, Bin Zhao, Yan Wang, Lili Cui
      Pages: 4103 - 4121
      Abstract: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most prevalent neurodegenerative disease and currently has no effective treatment. Mainstream research on the mechanisms and therapeutic targets of AD is focused on the two most important hallmarks, Aβ and Tau, but the results from clinical studies are not encouraging. Abnormal microglial polarization is a clear typical pathological feature in the progression of AD. Microglia can be neuroprotective by degrading and removing Aβ and Tau. However, under AD conditions, microglia transform into a pro-inflammatory phenotype that decreases the phagocytic activity of microglia, damages neurons and promotes the pathology of AD. We previously reported that a miR-146a polymorphism is associated with sporadic AD risk, and the nasal administration of miR-146a mimics reduced cognitive impairment and the main pathological features of AD. However, it is not clear by what mechanism miR-146a resists the pathological process of AD. In this study, we discovered that microglia-specific miR-146a overexpression reduced cognitive deficits in learning and memory, attenuated neuroinflammation, reduced Aβ levels, ameliorated plaque-associated neuritic pathology, and prevented neuronal loss in APP/PS1 transgenic mice. In addition, we found that miR-146a switched the microglial phenotype, reduced pro-inflammatory cytokines and enhanced phagocytic function to protect neurons in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, transcriptional analysis confirmed that miR-146a opposed the pathological process of AD mainly through neuroinflammation-related pathways. In summary, our results provide sufficient evidence for the mechanism by which miR-146a opposes AD and strengthen the conclusion that miR-146a is a promising target for AD and other microglia-related diseases.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • MARCKS cooperates with NKAP to activate NF-kB signaling in smoke-related
           lung cancer

    • Authors: Jun Liu; Szu-Jung Chen, Ssu-Wei Hsu, Jun Zhang, Ji-Min Li, David C. Yang, Shenwen Gu, Kent E. Pinkerton, Ching-Hsien Chen
      Pages: 4122 - 4136
      Abstract: Rationale: Cigarette smoking is a major risk factor for lung cancer development and progression; however, the mechanism of how cigarette smoke activates signaling pathways in promoting cancer malignancy remains to be established. Herein, we aimed to determine the contribution of a signaling protein, myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate (MARCKS), in smoke-mediated lung cancer.Methods: We firstly examined the levels of phosphorylated MARCKS (phospho-MARCKS) in smoke-exposed human lung cancer cells and specimens as well as non-human primate airway epithelium. Next, the MARCKS-interactome and its gene networks were identified. We also used genetic and pharmacological approaches to verify the functionality and molecular mechanism of smoke-induced phospho-MARCKS.Results: We observed that MARCKS becomes activated in airway epithelium and lung cancer cells in response to cigarette smoke. Functional proteomics revealed MARCKS protein directly binds to NF-κB-activating protein (NKAP). Following MARCKS phosphorylation at ser159 and ser163, the MARCKS-NKAP interaction was inhibited, leading to the activation of NF-κB signaling. In a screen of two cohorts of lung cancer patients, we confirmed that phospho-MARCKS is positively correlated with phospho-NF-κB (phospho-p65), and poor survival. Surprisingly, smoke-induced phospho-MARCKS upregulated the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and stem-like properties. Conversely, targeting of MARCKS phosphorylation with MPS peptide, a specific MARCKS phosphorylation inhibitor, suppressed smoke-mediated NF-κB signaling activity, pro-inflammatory cytokines expression, aggressiveness and stemness of lung cancer cells.Conclusion: Our results suggest that phospho-MARCKS is a novel NF-kB activator in smoke-mediated lung cancer progression and provide a promising molecular model for developing new anticancer strategies.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • Balancing the stability and drug activation in adaptive nanoparticles
           potentiates chemotherapy in multidrug-resistant cancer

    • Authors: Jianqin Wan; Lingling Huang, Jiangting Cheng, Huangfu Qi, Jiahui Jin, Hangxiang Wang
      Pages: 4137 - 4154
      Abstract: Rationale: Prodrug strategies that render the drug temporarily inactive through a cleavable linkage are able to modulate the physicochemical properties of drugs for adaptive nanoparticle (NP) formulation. Here we used cabazitaxel as a model compound to test the validity of our “balancing NP stability and specific drug activation” strategy.Methods: Cabazitaxel is conjugated to hydrophobic polylactide fragments with varying chain lengths via a self-immolation linkage, yielding polymeric prodrugs that can be reactivated by reductive agents in cells. Following a nanoprecipitation protocol, cabazitaxel prodrugs can be stably entrapped in amphiphilic polyethylene-block-polylactide matrices to form core-shell nanotherapies with augmented colloidal stability.Results: Upon cellular uptake followed by intracellular reduction, the NPs spontaneously release chemically unmodified cabazitaxel and exert high cytotoxicity. Studies with near-infrared dye-labeled NPs demonstrate that the nanodelivery of the prodrugs extends their systemic circulation, accompanied with increased drug concentrations at target tumor sites. In preclinical mouse xenograft models, including two paclitaxel-resistant xenograft models, the nanotherapy shows a remarkably higher efficacy in tumor suppression and an improved safety profile than free cabazitaxel.Conclusion: Collectively, our approach enables more effective and less toxic delivery of the cabazitaxel drug, which could be a new generalizable strategy for re-engineering other toxic and water-insoluble therapeutics.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • Pectin supplement significantly enhanced the anti-PD-1 efficacy in
           tumor-bearing mice humanized with gut microbiota from patients with
           colorectal cancer

    • Authors: Shi-Long Zhang; Yu-Qin Mao, Zheng-Yan Zhang, Zhan-Ming Li, Chao-Yue Kong, Hui-Ling Chen, Pei-Ran Cai, Bing Han, Tao Ye, Li-Shun Wang
      Pages: 4155 - 4170
      Abstract: Background: Anti-PD-1-based immunotherapy has emerged as a promising therapy for several cancers. However, it only benefits a small subset of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. Mounting data supports the pivotal role of gut microbiota in shaping immune system. Pectin, a widely consumed soluble fiber, has been reported to ameliorate the imbalance of gut microbiota. Therefore, we aimed to explore the effect and the underlying mechanisms of pectin in improving anti-PD-1 mAb efficacy.Methods: The C57BL/6 mice were treated with a broad-spectrum antibiotic (ATB) cocktail to depleted endogenous gut microbiota and subsequently humanized with feces from healthy controls or newly diagnosed CRC patients. The antitumor efficacies of anti-PD-1 mAb combined with or without pectin were assessed using these mice. Flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry (IHC) were conducted to investigate the tumor immune microenvironment after treatment. The gut microbiota profiles and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) levels were determined by 16S ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) gene sequencing and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), respectively. The effect of gut microbiota on anti-PD-1 mAb efficacy after pectin supplement was further tested by fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT).Results: The anti-PD-1 mAb efficacy was largely impaired in the mice humanized with feces from newly diagnosed CRC patients compared to those from healthy controls. However, pectin significantly enhanced the anti-PD-1 mAb efficacy in the tumor-bearing mice humanized with CRC patient gut microbiota. Flow cytometry and IHC analysis revealed increased T cell infiltration and activation in the tumor microenvironment of mice treated with anti-PD-1 mAb plus pectin. In vivo depletion of CD8+ T cells diminished the anti-tumor effect of anti-PD-1 mAb combined with pectin. 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed that pectin significantly increased gut microbial diversity and beneficially regulated microbial composition. In addition, we identified unique bacterial modules that were significantly enriched in the anti-PD-1 mAb + pectin group, which composed of butyrate-producing bacteria indicative of good response to immunotherapy. Meanwhile, GC-MS showed that pectin altered the level of SCFA butyrate. Furthermore, butyrate, a main product of dietary fiber in gut microbial fermentation, was found to be sufficient to promote T cells infiltration and thus enhance the efficacy of anti-PD-1 mAb. In addition, FMT demonstrated the effects of pectin were dependent on gut microbiota. Importantly, the beneficial effects of pectin were confirmed in the mice humanized with gut microbiota from patient with resistance to anti-PD-1 mAb.Conclusion: Pectin facilitated the anti-PD-1 mAb efficacy in CRC via regulating the T cell infiltration in the tumor microenvironment, which was potentially mediated by the metabolite butyrate.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • Redox-sensitive carrier-free nanoparticles self-assembled by
           disulfide-linked paclitaxel-tetramethylpyrazine conjugate for combination
           cancer chemotherapy

    • Authors: Liang Zou; Xiaowei Liu, Jingjing Li, Wei Li, Lele Zhang, Chaomei Fu, Jinming Zhang, Zhongwei Gu
      Pages: 4171 - 4186
      Abstract: Rationale: Combinations of two or more therapeutic agents targeting different signaling pathways involved in tumor progression can have synergistic anticancer effects. However, combination chemotherapies are greatly limited by the different pharmacokinetics, tumor targeting, and cellular uptake capacities of the combined drugs. We have previously demonstrated the potential synergistic efficacy of paclitaxel (PTX) and the natural anti-angiogenic agent tetramethylpyrazine (TMP) for suppressing ovarian carcinoma growth. An efficient, facile, and smart nanosystem to deliver PTX and TMP simultaneously in vivo is greatly desired.Methods: We constructed a redox-sensitive nanosystem based on the amphiphilic PTX-ss-TMP conjugate, in which PTX and TMP are linked by a disulfide bond. We characterized the structure of the drug conjugate by 1H NMR and LC-MS, and then prepared PTX-ss-TMP NPs by a one-step nanoprecipitation method. We investigated the redox sensitivity, tumor-targeting ability, anticancer efficacy, and anti-angiogenesis activity of PTX-ss-TMP NPs in vitro and in vivo.Results: The amphiphilic PTX-ss-TMP conjugate readily self-assembled into stable nanoparticles in aqueous solution with a low critical association concentration of 1.35 µg/mL, well-defined spherical structure, small particle size (152 nm), high drug loading, redox-responsive drug release, high biocompatibility, and high storage stability. In cancer cells pretreated with GSH-OEt, PTX-ss-TMP NPs exhibited higher cytotoxicity, apoptosis rate, and cell-cycle arrest than monotherapy or combination therapy with free drugs, which was attributed to their improved cellular uptake and rapid intracellular drug release. Additionally, PTX-ss-TMP NPs also had a stronger anti-angiogenesis effect in HUVECs than free drug, which was mediated by VEGFR2-involved downstream signals. Finally, PTX-ss-TMP NPs showed tumor-specific accumulation and excellent antitumor activity in A2780 xenograft mice compared with free drug.Conclusions: These in vitro and in vivo results provide clear evidence that this redox-responsive carrier-free nanosystem with intrinsic amphiphilicity has great potential for combination cancer chemotherapy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • SARM1 promotes neuroinflammation and inhibits neural regeneration after
           spinal cord injury through NF-κB signaling

    • Authors: Huitao Liu; Jingjing Zhang, Xingxing Xu, Sheng Lu, Danlu Yang, Changnan Xie, Mengxian Jia, Wenbin Zhang, Lingting Jin, Xiwu Wang, Xiya Shen, Fayi Li, Wangfei Wang, Xiaomei Bao, Sijia Li, Minyu Zhu, Wei Wang, Ying Wang, Zhihui Huang, Honglin Teng
      Pages: 4187 - 4206
      Abstract: Axonal degeneration is a common pathological feature in many acute and chronic neurological diseases such as spinal cord injury (SCI). SARM1 (sterile alpha and TIR motif-containing 1), the fifth TLR (Toll-like receptor) adaptor, has diverse functions in the immune and nervous systems, and recently has been identified as a key mediator of Wallerian degeneration (WD). However, the detailed functions of SARM1 after SCI still remain unclear.Methods: Modified Allen's method was used to establish a contusion model of SCI in mice. Furthermore, to address the function of SARM1 after SCI, conditional knockout (CKO) mice in the central nervous system (CNS), SARM1Nestin-CKO mice, and SARM1GFAP-CKO mice were successfully generated by Nestin-Cre and GFAP-Cre transgenic mice crossed with SARM1flox/flox mice, respectively. Immunostaining, Hematoxylin-Eosin (HE) staining, Nissl staining and behavioral test assays such as footprint and Basso Mouse Scale (BMS) scoring were used to examine the roles of SARM1 pathway in SCI based on these conditional knockout mice. Drugs such as FK866, an inhibitor of SARM1, and apoptozole, an inhibitor of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), were used to further explore the molecular mechanism of SARM1 in neural regeneration after SCI.Results: We found that SARM1 was upregulated in neurons and astrocytes at early stage after SCI. SARM1Nestin-CKO and SARM1GFAP-CKO mice displayed normal development of the spinal cords and motor function. Interestingly, conditional deletion of SARM1 in neurons and astrocytes promoted the functional recovery of behavior performance after SCI. Mechanistically, conditional deletion of SARM1 in neurons and astrocytes promoted neuronal regeneration at intermediate phase after SCI, and reduced neuroinflammation at SCI early phase through downregulation of NF-κB signaling after SCI, which may be due to upregulation of HSP70. Finally, FK866, an inhibitor of SARM1, reduced the neuroinflammation and promoted the neuronal regeneration after SCI.Conclusion: Our results indicate that SARM1-mediated prodegenerative pathway and neuroinflammation promotes the pathological progress of SCI and anti-SARM1 therapeutics are viable and promising approaches for preserving neuronal function after SCI.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • A novel role of kallikrein-related peptidase 8 in the pathogenesis of
           diabetic cardiac fibrosis

    • Authors: Jian-Kui Du; Qing Yu, Yu-Jian Liu, Shu-Fang Du, Li-Yang Huang, Dan-Hong Xu, Xin Ni, Xiao-Yan Zhu
      Pages: 4207 - 4231
      Abstract: Rationale: Among all the diabetic complications, diabetic cardiomyopathy, which is characterized by myocyte loss and myocardial fibrosis, is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in diabetic patients. Tissue kallikrein-related peptidases (KLKs) are secreted serine proteases, that have distinct and overlapping roles in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases. However, whether KLKs are involved in the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy remains unknown.The present study aimed to determine the role of a specific KLK in the initiation of endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) during the pathogenesis of diabetic cardiomyopathy.Methods and Results-By screening gene expression profiles of KLKs, it was found that KLK8 was highly induced in the myocardium of mice with streptozotocin-induced diabetes. KLK8 deficiency attenuated diabetic cardiac fibrosis, and rescued the impaired cardiac function in diabetic mice. Small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated KLK8 knockdown significantly attenuated high glucose-induced endothelial damage and EndMT in human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs). Diabetes-induced endothelial injury and cardiac EndMT were significantly alleviated in KLK8-deficient mice. In addition, transgenic overexpression of KLK8 led to interstitial and perivascular cardiac fibrosis, endothelial injury and EndMT in the heart. Adenovirus-mediated overexpression of KLK8 (Ad-KLK8) resulted in increases in endothelial cell damage, permeability and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 release in HCAECs. KLK8 overexpression also induced EndMT in HCAECs, which was alleviated by a TGF-β1-neutralizing antibody. A specificity protein-1 (Sp-1) consensus site was identified in the human KLK8 promoter and was found to mediate the high glucose-induced KLK8 expression. Mechanistically, it was identified that the vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin/plakoglobin complex may associate with KLK8 in HCAECs. KLK8 cleaved the VE-cadherin extracellular domain, thus promoting plakoglobin nuclear translocation. Plakoglobin was required for KLK8-induced EndMT by cooperating with p53. KLK8 overexpression led to plakoglobin-dependent association of p53 with hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1α, which further enhanced the transactivation effect of HIF-1α on the TGF-β1 promoter. KLK8 also induced the binding of p53 with Smad3, subsequently promoting pro-EndMT reprogramming via the TGF-β1/Smad signaling pathway in HCAECs. The in vitro and in vivo findings further demonstrated that high glucose may promote plakoglobin-dependent cooperation of p53 with HIF-1α and Smad3, subsequently increasing the expression of TGF-β1 and the pro-EndMT target genes of the TGF-β1/Smad signaling pathway in a KLK8-dependent manner.Conclusions: The present findings uncovered a novel pro-EndMT mechanism during the pathogenesis of diabetic cardiac fibrosis via the upregulation of KLK8, and may contribute to the development of future KLK8-based therapeutic strategies for diabetic cardiomyopathy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • SPTBN1 inhibits inflammatory responses and hepatocarcinogenesis via the
           stabilization of SOCS1 and downregulation of p65 in hepatocellular
           carcinoma

    • Authors: Ling Lin; Shuyi Chen, Hua Wang, Bin Gao, Bhaskar Kallakury, Krithika Bhuvaneshwar, Katherine Cahn, Yuriy Gusev, Xue Wang, Yunan Wu, John L. Marshall, Xiuling Zhi, Aiwu Ruth He
      Pages: 4232 - 4250
      Abstract: Background: Spectrin, beta, non-erythrocytic 1 (SPTBN1), an adapter protein for transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) signaling, is recognized as a tumor suppressor in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); however, the underlying molecular mechanisms of this tumor suppression remain obscure.Methods: The effects on expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines upon the inhibition or impairment of SPTBN1 in HCC cell lines and liver tissues of Sptbn1+/- and wild-type (WT) mice were assessed by analyses of quantitative real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (QRT-PCR), enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), Western blotting and gene array databases from HCC patients. We investigated the detailed molecular mechanisms underlying the inflammatory responses by immunoprecipitation-Western blotting, luciferase reporter assay, chromatin immunoprecipitation quantitative real time PCR (ChIP-qPCR), immunohistochemistry (IHC) and electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA). The proportion of myeloid-derived suppressor cells in liver, spleen, bone marrow and peripheral blood samples from WT and Sptbn1+/- mice were measured by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis. Further, the hepatocacinogenesis and its correlation with inflammatory microenvironment by loss of SPTBN1/SOCS1 and induction of p65 were analyzed by treating WT and Sptbn1+/- mice with 3,5-diethoxycarbonyl-1,4-dihydrocollidine (DDC).Results: Loss of SPTBN1 in HCC cells upregulated the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines including interleukin-1α (IL-1α), IL-1β, and IL-6, and enhanced NF-κB transcriptional activation. Mechanistic analyses revealed that knockdown of SPTBN1 by siRNA downregulated the expression of suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1), an E3 ligase of p65, and subsequently upregulated p65 accumulation in the nucleus of HCC cells. Restoration of SOCS1 abrogated this SPTBN1 loss-associated elevation of p65 in HCC cells. In human HCC tissues, SPTBN1 gene expression was inversely correlated with gene expression of IL-1α, IL-1β and IL-6. Furthermore, a decrease in the levels of SPTBN1 gene, as well as an increase in the gene expression of IL-1β or IL-6 predicted shorter relapse free survival in HCC patients, and that HCC patients with low expression of SPTBN1 or SOCS1 protein is associated with poor survival. Heterozygous loss of SPTBN1 (Sptbn1+/-) in mice markedly upregulated hepatic expression of IL-1α, IL-1β and IL-6, and elevated the proportion of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Foxp3+Treg) cells in the liver, promoting hepatocarcinogenesis of mouse fed by DDC.Conclusions: Our findings provided evidence that loss of SPTBN1 in HCC cells increases p65 protein stability via the inhibition of SOCS1 and enhances NF-κB activation, stimulating the release of inflammatory cytokines, which are critical molecular mechanisms for the loss of SPTBN1-induced liver cancer formation. Reduced SPTBN1 and SOCS1 predict poor outcome in HCC patients.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • Dabigatran activates inflammation resolution by promoting fibrinogen-like
           protein 2 shedding and RvD5n-3 DPA production

    • Authors: Juan Lei; Yu Zhou, Huakan Zhao, Yu Chen, Guifang Yan, Lei Wu, Yanquan Xu, Jiangang Zhang, Xiao Zhang, Jingchun Wang, Dingshan Li, Yongsheng Li
      Pages: 4251 - 4261
      Abstract: Rationale: The interaction between coagulation and inflammation resolution remains elusive. We recently highlighted a link between fibrinogen-like protein 2 (Fgl2) and a specialized pro-resolving mediator (SPM)-n-3 docosapentaenoic acid-derived resolvin D5 (RvD5n-3 DPA) in sepsis. This study aimed to investigate the functions of commonly used anticoagulants warfarin, dabigatran and heparin in regulating inflammation resolution.Methods: Peripheral blood was collected from clinical sepsis patients and healthy control for the determination of indicated indexes. Mouse sepsis models of zymosan-induced peritonitis and cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) were employed for the measurement of inflammation- and coagulation-related indexes. Western-blotting, ELISA and flow cytometry were applied to assess proteins. UPLC-MS/MS was used to evaluate lipid metabolites.Results: Here we report that the transmembrane Fgl2 (mFgl2) was positively associated with coagulation, while soluble Fgl2 (sFgl2) level correlated with the enhanced number of peripheral blood mononuclear cells in the sepsis patients. The anticoagulants dabigatran and warfarin attenuated zymosan-induced peritonitis, which was not shared by heparin, while only dabigatran significantly improved sepsis survival in the CLP sepsis mouse model. Although these anticoagulants consistently inhibited pro-inflammatory mediators including prostaglandin E2 and leukotriene B4, only dabigatran increased sFgl2 at both the initiation and resolution phases of inflammation. Mechanistically, dabigatran elicited the shedding of sFgl2 via prothrombin-related metalloproteases, thereby enhanced the subsequent biosynthesis of RvD5n-3 DPA via STAT6-ALOX15 axis. Blocking metalloproteases or ALOX15 significantly impaired dabigatran-enhanced macrophage efferocytosis in vitro, as well as delayed the dabigatran-accelerated inflammation resolution in vivo.Conclusions: Our findings identify the dual anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving actions of dabigatran, through promoting sFgl2-triggered RvD5n-3 DPA production, which has important implications for promoting tissue homeostasis of sepsis.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • Thymosin β4 released from functionalized self-assembling peptide
           activates epicardium and enhances repair of infarcted myocardium

    • Authors: Yong-li Wang; Shu-na Yu, Hao-ran Shen, Hai-jie Wang, Xue-ping Wu, Qiang-li Wang, Bin Zhou, Yu-zhen Tan
      Pages: 4262 - 4280
      Abstract: The epicardium plays an important role in cardiomyogenesis during development, while it becomes quiescent in adult heart during homeostasis. This study investigates the efficiency of thymosin β4 (Tβ4) release with RPRHQGVM conjugated to the C-terminus of RADA16-I (RADA-RPR), the functionalized self-assembling peptide (SAP), to activate the epicardium and repairing the infarcted myocardium.Methods: The functionalized SAP was constituted with self-assembling motif, Tβ4-binding site, and cell adhesive ligand. Myocardial infarction (MI) models of the transgenic mice were established by ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery. At one week after intramyocardial injection of Tβ4-conjugated SAP, the activation of the epicardium was assessed. At four weeks after implantation, the migration and differentiation of epicardium-derived cells (EPDCs) as well as angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis and myocardial regeneration were examined.Results: We found that the designer RADA-RPR bound Tβ4 and adhered to EPDCs and that Tβ4 released from the functionalized SAP could effectively activate the epicardium and induce EPDCs to differentiate towards cardiovascular cells as well as lymphatic endothelial cells. Moreover, SAP-released Tβ4 (SAP-Tβ4) promoted proliferation of cardiomyocytes. Furthermore, angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis and myocardial regeneration were enhanced in the MI models at 4 weeks after delivery of SAP-Tβ4 along with attenuation of adverse myocardial remodeling and significantly improved cardiac function.Conclusions: These results demonstrate that sustained release of Tβ4 from the functionalized SAP can activate the epicardium and effectively enhance the repair of infarcted myocardium. We believe the delivery of SAP-Tβ4 may be a promising strategy for MI therapy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • Combination of long-acting TRAIL and tumor cell-targeted photodynamic
           therapy as a novel strategy to overcome chemotherapeutic multidrug
           resistance and TRAIL resistance of colorectal cancer

    • Authors: Tianshan She; Qiuxiao Shi, Zhao Li, Yanru Feng, Hao Yang, Ze Tao, Heng Li, Jie Chen, Shisheng Wang, Yan Liang, Jingqiu Cheng, Xiaofeng Lu
      Pages: 4281 - 4297
      Abstract: Chemotherapeutic multidrug resistance (MDR) is the major hindrance for clinical therapy of colorectal cancer (CRC). Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) with selective cytotoxicity might overcome MDR of CRC cells. Unfortunately, cross-resistance to TRAIL has been detected in many CRC cells, suggesting the need to combine TRAIL with sensitizers to combat refractory CRC. Our purpose is to explore the potential of combination therapy of TRAIL and tumor-cell targeted photodynamic therapy (PDT) in combating CRC with both chemotherapeutic MDR and TRAIL resistance.Methods: Tumor cell-targeted PDT was performed using a Ze-IR700 photosensitizer with high affinity for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). The impact of PDT on the gene expression of CRC cells was revealed by RNA sequencing. The synergistic antitumor effect of long-acting TRAIL and PDT was evaluated in mice bearing tumor grafts of CRC cells with both chemotherapeutic MDR and TRAIL resistance.Results: Chemotherapeutic MDR and TRAIL resistance are common in CRC cells. Pretreatment of CRC cells with tumor cell-targeted PDT significantly (10-60 times) increased the sensitivity of these CRC cells to TRAIL by upregulating death receptors. Combination therapy, but not monotherapy, of long-acting TRAIL and PDT greatly induced apoptosis of CRC cells, thus efficiently eradicated large (~150 mm3) CRC tumor xenografts in mice.Conclusions: Tumor cell-targeted PDT extensively sensitizes CRC cells to TRAIL. Combination therapy of long-acting TRAIL and PDT is promising to combat CRC with both chemotherapeutic MDR and TRAIL resistance, which might be developed as a novel strategy for precision therapy of refractory CRC.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • N6-methyladenosine-induced circ1662 promotes metastasis of colorectal
           cancer by accelerating YAP1 nuclear localization

    • Authors: Chen Chen; Weitang Yuan, Quanbo Zhou, Bo Shao, Yuying Guo, Weiwei Wang, Shuaixi Yang, Yaxin Guo, Luyang Zhao, Qin Dang, Xiuxiu Yang, Guixian Wang, Qiaozhen Kang, Zhenyu Ji, Jinbo Liu, Zhenqiang Sun
      Pages: 4298 - 4315
      Abstract: Tumor metastasis is the leading cause of death in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). Circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been shown to be involved in cancer progression. However, the regulatory mechanisms of circRNAs involved in CRC tumor metastasis are currently unknown.Methods: High-throughput sequencing was performed on 6 pairs of CRC and adjacent normal tissues to identify the expression profiles of mRNA and circRNA. circ1662 was assessed by RNA-ISH and IHC of a tissue chip. The function of circ1662 in CRC was evaluated by knocking down or overexpressing circ1662. MeRIP-qPCR, RIP-qPCR, and RNA pull-down were performed to determine the relationship between METTL3, circ1662, and YAP1.Results: A novel circRNA, circ1662, exhibited significantly higher expression in CRC tissues than paired normal tissues. High circ1662 expression was correlated with poor prognosis and tumor depth in patients with CRC. Functionally, circ1662 promoted CRC cell invasion and migration by controlling EMT in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, circ1662 directly bound to YAP1 and accelerated its nuclear accumulation to regulate the SMAD3 pathway. Additionally, circ1662 enhanced CRC invasion and migration depending on YAP1 and SMAD3. Interestingly, METTL3 induced circ1662 expression by binding its flanking sequences and installing m6A modifications. Clinically, circ1662 expression strongly correlated with METTL3 and YAP1 protein expression. Moreover, YAP1 expression was negatively correlated with SMAD3 expression.Conclusions: METTL3-induced circ1662 promoted CRC cell invasion and migration by accelerating YAP1 nuclear transport. This result implies that circ1662 is a new prognostic and therapeutic marker for CRC metastasis.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • Trio cooperates with Myh9 to regulate neural crest-derived craniofacial
           development

    • Authors: Shuyu Guo; Li Meng, Haojie Liu, Lichan Yuan, Na Zhao, Jieli Ni, Yang Zhang, Jingjing Ben, Yi-Ping Li, Junqing Ma
      Pages: 4316 - 4334
      Abstract: Trio is a unique member of the Rho-GEF family that has three catalytic domains and is vital for various cellular processes in both physiological and developmental settings. TRIO mutations in humans are involved in craniofacial abnormalities, in which patients present with mandibular retrusion. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms of Trio in neural crest cell (NCC)-derived craniofacial development, and there is still a lack of direct evidence to assign a functional role to Trio in NCC-induced craniofacial abnormalities.Methods: In vivo, we used zebrafish and NCC-specific knockout mouse models to investigate the phenotype and dynamics of NCC development in Trio morphants. In vitro, iTRAQ, GST pull-down assays, and proximity ligation assay (PLA) were used to explore the role of Trio and its potential downstream mediators in NCC migration and differentiation.Results: In zebrafish and mouse models, disruption of Trio elicited a migration deficit and impaired the differentiation of NCC derivatives, leading to craniofacial growth deficiency and mandibular retrusion. Moreover, Trio positively regulated Myh9 expression and directly interacted with Myh9 to coregulate downstream cellular signaling in NCCs. We further demonstrated that disruption of Trio or Myh9 inhibited Rac1 and Cdc42 activity, specifically affecting the nuclear export of β-catenin and NCC polarization. Remarkably, craniofacial abnormalities caused by trio deficiency in zebrafish could be partially rescued by the injection of mRNA encoding myh9, ca-Rac1, or ca-Cdc42.Conclusions: Here, we identified that Trio, interacting mostly with Myh9, acts as a key regulator of NCC migration and differentiation during craniofacial development. Our results indicate that trio morphant zebrafish and Wnt1-cre;Triofl/fl mice offer potential model systems to facilitate the study of the pathogenic mechanisms of Trio mutations causing craniofacial abnormalities.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • Compensatory combination of mTOR and TrxR inhibitors to cause oxidative
           stress and regression of tumors

    • Authors: Yiqun Xia; Jundixia Chen, Yun Yu, Fengjiao Wu, Xin Shen, Chenyu Qiu, Tingting Zhang, Lin Hong, Peisen Zheng, Rongrong Shao, Chenxin Xu, Fang Wu, Wei Chen, Congying Xie, Ri Cui, Peng Zou
      Pages: 4335 - 4350
      Abstract: Background: Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. Extensive research over decades has led to the development of therapies that inhibit oncogenic signaling pathways. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway plays an important role in the development of many cancers. Several mTOR inhibitors are approved for the treatment of cancers. However, the anticancer efficacies of mTOR inhibitor monotherapy are still limited.Methods: Western blot was used to detect the expression of indicated molecules. Thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) activity in cells was determined by the endpoint insulin reduction assay. Immunofluorescence staining was used to analyze precise location and expression of target proteins. Nude mice were used for xenograft tumor models.Results: We identified a synergistic lethal interaction of mTOR and TrxR inhibitors and elucidated the underlying molecular mechanisms of this synergism. We demonstrated that mTOR and TrxR inhibitors cooperated to induce cell death by triggering oxidative stress, which led to activation of autophagy, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) signaling pathway in cancer cells. Remarkably, we found that auranofin (AF) combined with everolimus significantly suppressed tumor growth in HCT116 and SGC-7901 xenograft models with no significant signs of toxicity.Conclusion: Our findings identify a promising therapeutic combination for cancer and has important implications for developing mTOR inhibitor-based combination treatments.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • Ultrasound-mediated augmented exosome release from astrocytes alleviates
           amyloid-β-induced neurotoxicity

    • Authors: Zhiting Deng; Jieqiong Wang, Yang Xiao, Fei Li, Lili Niu, Xin Liu, Long Meng, Hairong Zheng
      Pages: 4351 - 4362
      Abstract: Background: Extracellular vesicles, including exosomes, are secreted by a variety of cell types in the central nervous system. Exosomes play a role in removing intracellular materials from the endosomal system. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is caused by an overproduction or reduced amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptide clearance. Increased Aβ levels in the brain may impair the exosome-mediated Aβ clearance pathway. Therapeutic ultrasound stimulation demonstrated its potential for promoting Aβ degradation efficiency in clinical trials. However, the underlying mechanism of ultrasound stimulation is still unclear.Methods: In this study, astrocytes, the most abundant glial cells in the brain, were used for exosome production. Post insonation, exosomes from ultrasound-stimulated HA cells (US-HA-Exo) were collected, nanoparticle tracking analysis and protein analysis were used to measure and characterize exosomes. Neuroprotective effect of US-HA-Exo in oligomeric Aβ42 toxicated SH-SY5Y cells was tested. Cellular uptake and distribution of exosomes were observed by flow cytometry and confocal laser scanning microscopy. Focused ultrasound (FUS) with microbubbles was employed for blood-brain-barrier opening to achieve brain-targeted exosome delivery. After US-HA-Exo/FUS treatment, amyloid-β plaque in APP/PS1 mice were evaluated by Aβ immunostaining and thioflavin-S staining.Results: We showed that ultrasound resulted in an almost 5-fold increase in the exosome release from human astrocytes. Exosomes were rapidly internalized in SH-SY5Y cells, and colocalized with FITC-Aβ42, causing a decreased uptake of FITC-Aβ42. CCk-8 test results showed that US-HA-Exo could mitigate Aβ toxicity to neurons in vitro. The therapeutic potential of US-HA-Exo/FUS delivery was demonstrated by a decrease in thioflavin-S-positive amyloid plaques and Aβ immuno-staining, a therapeutic target for AD in APP/PS1 transgenic mice. The iTRAQ-based proteomic quantification was performed to gain mechanistic insight into the ultrasound effect on astrocyte-derived exosomes and their ability to alleviate Aβ neurotoxicity.Conclusion: Our results imply that US-HA-Exo have the potential to provide neuroprotective effects to reverse oligomeric amyloid-β-induced cytotoxicity in vitro and, when combined with FUS-induced BBB opening, enable the clearance of amyloid-β plaques in vivo.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • Hepatic miR-378 modulates serum cholesterol levels by regulating hepatic
           bile acid synthesis

    • Authors: Chao Sun; Wei Liu, Zhiqiang Lu, Yan Li, Shengnan Liu, Zhili Tang, Ying Yan, Zhiyang Li, Hua Feng, Duo Zhang, Yun Liu, Zhong-Ze Fang, Changtao Jiang, Qiurong Ding, Jingjing Jiang, Hao Ying
      Pages: 4363 - 4380
      Abstract: Rationale: An improved understanding of thyroid hormone (TH) action on cholesterol metabolism will facilitate the identification of novel therapeutic targets for hypercholesterolemia. TH-regulated microRNAs (miRNAs) have been implicated in TH-controlled biological processes; however, whether and how TH-regulated miRNAs mediate the cholesterol-lowering effect of TH remains unclear. Our aim was to identify TH-regulated microRNAs that have cholesterol-lowering effects and explore the underlying mechanism.Method: Microarray and RNA-seq were performed to identify TH-regulated microRNAs and the genes regulated by mmu-miR-378-3p (miR-378) in the liver of mice, respectively. Recombinant adenoviruses encoding miR-378, Mafg, and shRNA for Mafg, antagomiR-378, liver-specific miR-378 transgenic mice, and miR-378 knockout mice were employed to investigate the roles of hepatic miR-378 and MAFG in cholesterol and bile acid homeostasis. The levels of bile salt species were determined by using UFLC-Triple-time of flight/MS.Results: Here, we show that hepatic miR-378 is positively regulated by TH. Transient overexpression of miR-378 in the liver of mice reduces serum cholesterol levels, accompanied with an increase in the expression of key enzymes in primary bile acid synthetic pathways and corresponding increases in biliary and fecal bile acid levels. Consistently, liver-specific miR-378 transgenic mice with moderate overexpression of hepatic miR-378 display decreased serum cholesterol levels and resistance to diet-induced hypercholesterolemia, while mice lacking miR-378 exhibit defects in bile acid and cholesterol homeostasis. Mechanistically, hepatic miR-378 regulates the expression of key enzymes in both classic and alternative bile acid synthetic pathways through MAFG, a transcriptional repressor, thereby modulating bile acid and cholesterol metabolism.Conclusions: TH-responsive hepatic miR-378 is capable of modulating serum cholesterol levels by regulating both the classic and alternative BA synthetic pathways. Our study not only identifies a previously undescribed role of hepatic miR-378 but also provides new cholesterol-lowering approaches.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • NAD+-boosting therapy alleviates nonalcoholic fatty liver disease via
           stimulating a novel exerkine Fndc5/irisin

    • Authors: Dong-Jie Li; Si-Jia Sun, Jiang-Tao Fu, Shen-Xi Ouyang, Qin-Jie Zhao, Li Su, Qing-Xi Ji, Di-Ynag Sun, Jia-Hui Zhu, Guo-Yan Zhang, Jia-Wei Ma, Xiu-Ting Lan, Yi Zhao, Jie Tong, Guo-Qiang Li, Fu-Ming Shen, Pei Wang
      Pages: 4381 - 4402
      Abstract: Rationale: Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide+ (NAD+)-boosting therapy has emerged as a promising strategy to treat various health disorders, while the underlying molecular mechanisms are not fully understood. Here, we investigated the involvement of fibronectin type III domain containing 5 (Fndc5) or irisin, which is a novel exercise-linked hormone, in the development and progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).Methods: NAD+-boosting therapy was achieved by administrating of nicotinamide riboside (NR) in human and mice. The Fndc5/irisin levels in tissues and blood were measured in NR-treated mice or human volunteers. The therapeutic action of NR against NAFLD pathologies induced by high-fat diet (HFD) or methionine/choline-deficient diet (MCD) were compared between wild-type (WT) and Fndc5-/- mice. Recombinant Fndc5/irisin was infused to NALFD mice via osmotic minipump to test the therapeutic action of Fndc5/irisin. Various biomedical experiments were conducted in vivo and in vitro to know the molecular mechanisms underlying the stimulation of Fndc5/irisin by NR treatment.Results: NR treatment elevated plasma level of Fndc5/irisin in mice and human volunteers. NR treatment also increased Fndc5 expression in skeletal muscle, adipose and liver tissues in mice. In HFD-induced NAFLD mice model, NR displayed remarkable therapeutic effects on body weight gain, hepatic steatosis, steatohepatitis, insulin resistance, mitochondrial dysfunction, apoptosis and fibrosis; however, these actions of NR were compromised in Fndc5-/- mice. Chronic infusion of recombinant Fndc5/irisin alleviated the NAFLD pathological phenotypes in MCD-induced NAFLD mice model. Mechanistically, NR reduced the lipid stress-triggered ubiquitination of Fndc5, which increased Fndc5 protein stability and thus enhanced Fndc5 protein level. Using shRNA-mediated knockdown screening, we found that NAD+-dependent deacetylase SIRT2, rather than other sirtuins, interacts with Fndc5 to decrease Fndc5 acetylation, which reduces Fndc5 ubiquitination and stabilize it. Treatment of AGK2, a selective inhibitor of SIRT2, blocked the therapeutic action of NR against NAFLD pathologies and NR-induced Fndc5 deubiquitination/deacetylation. At last, we identified that the lysine sites K127/131 and K185/187/189 of Fndc5 may contribute to the SIRT2-dependent deacetylation and deubiquitination of Fndc5.Conclusions: The findings from this research for the first time demonstrate that NAD+-boosting therapy reverses NAFLD by regulating SIRT2-deppendent Fndc5 deacetylation and deubiquitination, which results in a stimulation of Fndc5/irisin, a novel exerkine. These results suggest that Fndc5/irisin may be a potential nexus between physical exercise and NAD+-boosting therapy in metabolic pathophysiology.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • Intratumor heterogeneity of breast cancer detected by epialleles shows
           association with hypoxic microenvironment

    • Authors: Yihan Wang; Yan Zhang, Yan Huang, Chuangeng Chen, Xingda Zhang, Ying Xing, Yue Gu, Mengyan Zhang, Li Cai, Shouping Xu, Baoqing Sun
      Pages: 4403 - 4420
      Abstract: Rationale: In breast cancer, high intratumor DNA methylation heterogeneity can lead to drug-resistant, metastasis and poor prognosis of tumors, which increases the complexity of cancer diagnosis and treatment. However, most studies are limited to average DNA methylation level of individual CpGs and ignore heterogeneous DNA methylation patterns of cell subpopulations within the tumor. Thus, quantifying the variability in DNA methylation pattern in sequencing reads is valuable for understanding intratumor heterogeneity.Methods: We performed Reduced Representation Bisulfite Sequencing and RNA sequencing for tumor core and tumor periphery regions within one breast tumor. By developing a method named “epialleJS” based on Jensen-Shannon divergence, we detected the differential epialleles between tumor core and tumor periphery (CPDEs). We then explored the correlation between intratumor methylation heterogeneity and hypoxic microenvironment in TCGA breast cancer cohort.Results: More than 70% of CPDEs had higher epipolymorphism in tumor core than tumor periphery, and these CPDEs had lower methylation in tumor core. The CPDEs with lower methylation in tumor core may associate with hypoxic tumor microenvironment. Moreover, we identified a signature of five hypoxia-related DNA methylation markers which can predict the prognosis of breast cancer patients, including a CpG site cg15190451 in gene SLC16A5. Furthermore, immunohistochemical analysis confirmed that the expression of SLC16A5 was associated with clinicopathological characteristics and survival of breast cancer patients.Conclusions: The analysis of intratumor DNA methylation heterogeneity based on epialleles reveals that disordered methylation patterns in tumor core are associated with hypoxic microenvironment, which provides a framework for understanding biological heterogeneous behavior and guidance for developing effective treatment schemes for breast cancer patients.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • The CK1δ/ε-AES axis regulates tumorigenesis and metastasis in
           colorectal cancer

    • Authors: Zhongyuan Wang; Liang Zhou, Yejun Wang, Quanzhou Peng, Huan Li, Xin Zhang, Zijie Su, Jiaxing Song, Qi Sun, Sapna Sayed, Shanshan Liu, Desheng Lu
      Pages: 4421 - 4435
      Abstract: Background: Amino-terminal enhancer of split (AES) has been identified as a tumor and metastasis suppressor in some cancers including colorectal cancer (CRC), but very little is known about the regulation of AES expression.Methods: Bioinformatics analysis was used to investigate the expression patterns of AES, CK1δ and CK1ε. The co-immunoprecipitation, GST pull-down, Western Blot, real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry were performed to study the mechanism underlying the regulation of AES expression by CK1δ/ε. The biological function was assessed by in vitro colony formation, transwell, sphere formation, tumor organoids, in vivo tumor metastasis model and patient-derived colorectal tumor xenografts (PDTX) model.Results: A strong inverse relationship was observed between the expression of AES and the expression of CK1δ/ε. Mechanically, AES could interact with CK1δ/ε and SKP2 using its Q domain. SKP2 mediated the ubiquitination and degradation of AES in a CK1δ/ε-dependent manner. CK1δ/ε phosphorylated AES at Ser121 and accelerated the SKP2-mediated ubiquitination and degradation of AES. In colon cancer cells, CK1δ/ε antagonized the effect of wild-type AES but not that of its mutant (S121A) on Wnt and Notch signaling, leading to an increase in the expression of Wnt target genes and Notch target genes. By downregulating the expression of AES, CK1δ/ε enhanced anchorage-independent growth, migration, invasion and sphere formation in colon cancer cells. CK1δ/ε also promoted the growth of APCmin/+ colorectal tumor organoids and liver metastasis in colon cancer mouse models through the regulation of AES degradation. Furthermore, CK1 inhibitor SR3029 treatment suppressed tumor growth via stabilizing AES in APCmin/+ colorectal tumor organoids and patient-derived colorectal tumor xenografts (PDTX).Conclusions: Our results revealed that the CK1δ/ε-AES axis is important for CRC tumorigenesis and metastasis, and targeted inhibition of this axis may be a potential therapeutic strategy for CRC.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • Exosome-inflammasome crosstalk and their roles in inflammatory responses

    • Authors: Chadanat Noonin; Visith Thongboonkerd
      Pages: 4436 - 4451
      Abstract: Inflammasome is a complex of multiple proteins found in cytoplasm of the cells activated by infectious and/or non-infectious stimuli. This complex involves caspase-1 activation, leading to unconventional secretion of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-18 and inflammatory cascade. Exosome is the nanoscale membrane-bound extracellular vesicle that plays significant roles in intercellular communications by carrying bioactive molecules, e.g., proteins, RNAs, microRNAs (miRNAs), DNAs, from one cell to the others. In this review, we provide the update information on the crosstalk between exosome and inflammasome and their roles in inflammatory responses. The effects of inflammasome activation on exosomal secretion are summarized. On the other hand, the (dual) effects of exosomes on inhibiting and promoting inflammasome activation are discussed. Finally, perspectives on therapeutic roles of exosomes in human diseases and future direction of the research on exosome-inflammasome crosstalk are provided.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • Charge-switchable zwitterionic polycarboxybetaine particle as an
           intestinal permeation enhancer for efficient oral insulin delivery

    • Authors: Yan Li; Weihong Ji, Huan Peng, Ruichen Zhao, Tianlu Zhang, Zhiguo Lu, Jun Yang, Ruiyuan Liu, Xin Zhang
      Pages: 4452 - 4466
      Abstract: Insulin, a peptide hormone, is one of the most common and effective antidiabetic drugs. Although oral administration is considered to be the most convenient and safe choice for patients, the oral bioavailability of insulin is very low due to the poor oral absorption into blood circulation. Intestinal epithelium is a major barrier for the oral absorption of insulin. Therefore, it is vital to develop intestinal permeation enhancer to increase the antidiabetic efficacy of insulin after oral administration.Methods: Charge-switchable zwitterionic polycarboxybetaine (PCB) was used to load insulin to form PCB/insulin (PCB/INS) particles through the electrostatic interaction between positively charged PCB in pH 5.0 and negatively charged insulin in 0.01 M NaOH. The opening effect of PCB/INS particles on intestinal epithelium was evaluated by detecting the changes of claudin-4 (CLDN4) protein and transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) after incubation or removal. The mechanism was further elucidated based on the results of Western blot and fluorescence images. The PCB/INS particles were then used for type 1 diabetes mellitus therapy after oral administration.Results: PCB could load insulin with the loading efficiency above 86% at weight ratio of 8:1. PCB/INS particles achieved sustained release of insulin at pH 7.4 due to their charge-switchable ability. Surprisingly, PCB/INS particles induced the open of the tight junctions of intestinal epithelium in endocytosis-mediated lysosomal degradation pathway, which resulted in increased intestinal permeability of insulin. Additionally, the opening effect of PCB/INS particles was reversible, and the decreased expression of CLDN4 protein and TEER values were gradually recovered after particles removal. In streptozotocin-induced type 1 diabetic rats, oral administration of PCB/INS particles with diameter sub-200 nm, especially in capsules, significantly enhanced the bioavailability of insulin and achieved longer duration of hypoglycemic effect than the subcutaneously injected insulin. Importantly, there was no endotoxin and pathological change during treatment, indicating that PCB/INS particles were safe enough for in vivo application.Conclusion: These findings indicate that this system can provide a platform for oral insulin and other protein drugs delivery.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • Pancreatic ductal deletion of S100A9 alleviates acute pancreatitis by
           targeting VNN1-mediated ROS release to inhibit NLRP3 activation

    • Authors: Hong Xiang; Fangyue Guo, Xufeng Tao, Qi Zhou, Shilin Xia, Dawei Deng, Lunxu Li, Dong Shang
      Pages: 4467 - 4482
      Abstract: Recent studies have proven that the overall pathophysiology of pancreatitis involves not only the pancreatic acinar cells but also duct cells, however, pancreatic duct contribution in acinar cells homeostasis is poorly known and the molecular mechanisms leading to acinar insult and acute pancreatitis (AP) are unclear. Our previous work also showed that S100A9 protein level was notably increased in AP rat pancreas through iTRAQ-based quantitative proteomic analysis. Therefore, we investigated the actions of injured duct cells on acinar cells and the S100A9-related effects and mechanisms underlying AP pathology in the present paper.Methods: In this study, we constructed S100A9 knockout (s100a9-/-) mice and an in vitro coculture system for pancreatic duct cells and acinar cells. Moreover, a variety of small molecular inhibitors of S100A9 were screened from ChemDiv through molecular docking and virtual screening methods.Results: We found that the upregulation of S100A9 induces cell injury and inflammatory response via NLRP3 activation by targeting VNN1-mediated ROS release; and loss of S100A9 decreases AP injury in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, molecular docking and mutant plasmid experiments proved that S100A9 has a direct interaction with VNN1 through the salt bridges formation of Lys57 and Glu92 residues in S100A9 protein. We further found that compounds C42H60N4O6 and C28H29F3N4O5S can significantly improve AP injury in vitro and in vivo through inhibiting S100A9-VNN1 interaction.Conclusions: Our study showed the important regulatory effect of S100A9 on pancreatic duct injury during AP and revealed that inhibition of the S100A9-VNN1 interaction may be a key therapeutic target for this disease.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • The subcellular redistribution of NLRC5 promotes angiogenesis via
           interacting with STAT3 in endothelial cells

    • Authors: Xu Xu; Yefei Shi, Peipei Luan, Wenxin Kou, Bo Li, Ming Zhai, Shuangjie You, Qing Yu, Jianhui Zhuang, Weixia Jian, Mark W. Feinberg, Wenhui Peng
      Pages: 4483 - 4501
      Abstract: Angiogenesis is a critical step in repair of tissue injury. The pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) recognize pathogen and damage associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) during injury and achieve host defense directly. However, the role of NLR family CARD domain containing 5 (NLRC5), an important member of PPRs, beyond host defense in angiogenesis during tissue repair remains unknown.Methods: In vitro, western blot and real-time PCR (RT-PCR) were used to detect the expression of NLRC5 in endothelial cells (ECs). Immunofluorescence microscopy was used to reveal the subcellular location of NLRC5 in ECs. Cell proliferation, wound healing, tube formation assays of ECs were performed to study the role of NLRC5 in angiogenesis. By using Tie2Cre-NLRC5flox/flox mice and bone marrow transplantation studies, we defined an EC-specific role for NLRC5 in angiogenesis. Mechanistically, co-immunoprecipitation studies and RNA sequencing indicated that signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) was the target of NLRC5 in the nucleus. And Co-IP was used to verify the specific domain of NLRC5 binding with STAT3. ChIP assay determined the genes regulated by interaction of STAT3 and NLRC5.Results: Knockdown of NLRC5 in vitro or in vivo inhibited pathological angiogenesis, but had no effect on physiological angiogenesis. NLRC5 was also identified to bind to STAT3 in the nucleus required the integrated death-domain and nucleotide-binding domain (DD+NACHT domain) of NLRC5. And the interaction of STAT3 and NLRC5 could enhance the transcription of angiopoietin-2 (Ang2) and cyclin D1 (CCND1) to participate in angiogenesis.Conclusions: In the ischemic microenvironment, NLRC5 protein accumulates in the nucleus of ECs and enhances STAT3 transcriptional activity for angiogenesis. These findings establish NLRC5 as a novel modulator of VEGFA signaling, providing a new target for angiogenic therapy to foster tissue regeneration.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • Impact of sodium glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors on
           atherosclerosis: from pharmacology to pre-clinical and clinical
           therapeutics

    • Authors: Zhenghong Liu; Xiaoxuan Ma, Iqra Ilyas, Xueying Zheng, Sihui Luo, Peter J. Little, Danielle Kamato, Amirhossein Sahebkar, Weiming Wu, Jianping Weng, Suowen Xu
      Pages: 4502 - 4515
      Abstract: Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) are new oral drugs for the therapy of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Research in the past decade has shown that drugs of the SGLT2i class, such as empagliflozin, canagliflozin, and dapagliflozin, have pleiotropic effects in preventing cardiovascular diseases beyond their favorable impact on hyperglycemia. Of clinical relevance, recent landmark cardiovascular outcome trials have demonstrated that SGLT2i reduce major adverse cardiovascular events, hospitalization for heart failure, and cardiovascular death in T2DM patients with/without cardiovascular diseases (including atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases and various types of heart failure). The major pharmacological action of SGLT2i is through inhibiting glucose re-absorption in the kidney and thus promoting glucose excretion. Studies in experimental models of atherosclerosis have shown that SGLT2i ameliorate the progression of atherosclerosis by mechanisms including inhibition of vascular inflammation, reduction in oxidative stress, reversing endothelial dysfunction, reducing foam cell formation and preventing platelet activation. Here, we summarize the anti-atherosclerotic actions and mechanisms of action of SGLT2i, with an aim to emphasize the clinical utility of this class of agents in preventing the insidious cardiovascular complications accompanying diabetes.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • LncRNA PRADX-mediated recruitment of PRC2/DDX5 complex suppresses UBXN1
           expression and activates NF-κB activity, promoting tumorigenesis

    • Authors: Yansheng Li; Xing Liu, Xiaoteng Cui, Yanli Tan, Qixue Wang, Yunfei Wang, Can Xu, Chuan Fang, Chunsheng Kang
      Pages: 4516 - 4530
      Abstract: Rationale: Accumulating evidence indicates that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play crucial roles in cancer progression; however, only few have been characterized in detail. The current study aimed to identify a novel cancer driver lncRNA in glioblastoma and colon adenocarcinoma.Methods: We performed whole transcriptome analysis of TCGA pan-cancer datasets to compare the lncRNA expression profiles of tumor and paired normal tissues. In situ hybridization of tissue sections was performed to validate the expression data and determine the localization of lncRNAs that may be linked to glioblastoma and colon adenocarcinoma. Chromatin isolation by RNA purification (ChIRP), chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), and Co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP) assays were performed to assess the interaction between lncRNA, proteins, and chromatin. The functional significance of the identified lncRNAs was verified in vitro and in vivo by knockdown or exogenous expression experiments.Results: We found a lncRNA ENST00000449248.1 termed PRC2 and DDX5 associated lncRNA (PRADX) that is highly expressed in glioblastoma and colon adenocarcinoma cells and tissues. PRADX, mainly located in the nucleus of tumor cells, could bind to EZH2 protein via the 5' terminal sequence. Moreover, PRADX increased the trimethylation of H3K27 in the UBXN1 gene promoter via PRC2/DDX5 complex recruitment and promoted NF-κB activity through UBXN1 suppression. Knockdown of PRADX significantly inhibited tumor cell viability and clonogenic growth in vitro. In xenograft models, PRADX knockdown suppressed tumor growth and tumorigenesis and prolonged the survival of tumor-bearing mice.Conclusions: PRADX acts as a cancer driver and may serve as a potential therapeutic target for glioblastoma and colon adenocarcinoma.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • The role of GLS1-mediated glutaminolysis/2-HG/H3K4me3 and GSH/ROS signals
           in Th17 responses counteracted by PPARγ agonists

    • Authors: Yumeng Miao; Yun Zheng, Yanzhi Geng, Ling Yang, Na Cao, Yue Dai, Zhifeng Wei
      Pages: 4531 - 4548
      Abstract: Background: Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) has the ability to counter Th17 responses, but the full mechanisms remain elusive. Herein, we aimed to elucidate this process in view of cellular metabolism, especially glutaminolysis.Methods: MTT, CCK-8, Annexin V-FITC/PI staining or trypan blue exclusion assays were used to analyze cytotoxicity. Flow cytometry and Q-PCR assays were applied to determine Th17 responses. The detection of metabolite levels using commercial kits and rate-limiting enzyme expression using western blotting assays was performed to illustrate the metabolic activity. ChIP assays were used to examine H3K4me3 modifications. Mouse models of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis and house dust mite (HDM)/lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced asthma were established to confirm the mechanisms studied in vitro.Results: The PPARγ agonists rosiglitazone and pioglitazone blocked glutaminolysis but not glycolysis under Th17-skewing conditions, as indicated by the detection of intracellular lactate and α-KG and the fluorescence ratios of BCECF-AM. The PPARγ agonists prevented the utilization of glutamine and thus directly limited Th17 responses even when Foxp3 was deficient. The mechanisms were ascribed to restricted conversion of glutamine to glutamate by reducing the expression of the rate-limiting enzyme GLS1, which was confirmed by GLS1 overexpression. Replenishment of α-KG and 2-HG but not succinate weakened the effects of PPARγ agonists, and α-KG-promoted Th17 responses were dampened by siIDH1/2. Inhibition of KDM5 but not KDM4/6 restrained the inhibitory effect of PPARγ agonists on IL-17A expression, and the H3K4me3 level in the promoter and CNS2 region of the il-17 gene locus down-regulated by PPARγ agonists was rescued by 2-HG and GLS1 overexpression. However, the limitation of PPARγ agonists on the mRNA expression of RORγt was unable to be stopped by 2-HG but was attributed to GSH/ROS signals subsequent to GLS1. The exact role of PPARγ was proved by GW9662 or PPARγ knockout, and the mechanisms for PPARγ-inhibited Th17 responses were further confirmed by GLS1 overexpression in vivo.Conclusion: PPARγ agonists repressed Th17 responses by counteracting GLS1-mediated glutaminolysis/2-HG/H3K4me3 and GSH/ROS signals, which is beneficial for Th17 cell-related immune dysregulation.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • The crosstalk between m6A RNA methylation and other epigenetic regulators:
           a novel perspective in epigenetic remodeling

    • Authors: Yanchun Zhao; Yunhao Chen, Mei Jin, Jin Wang
      Pages: 4549 - 4566
      Abstract: Epigenetic regulation involves a range of sophisticated processes which contribute to heritable alterations in gene expression without altering DNA sequence. Regulatory events predominantly include DNA methylation, chromatin remodeling, histone modifications, non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), and RNA modification. As the most prevalent RNA modification in eukaryotic cells, N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA methylation actively participates in the modulation of RNA metabolism. Notably, accumulating evidence has revealed complicated interrelations occurring between m6A and other well-known epigenetic modifications. Their crosstalk conspicuously triggers epigenetic remodeling, further yielding profound impacts on a variety of physiological and pathological processes, especially tumorigenesis. Herein, we provide an up-to-date review of this emerging hot area of biological research, summarizing the interplay between m6A RNA methylation and other epigenetic regulators, and highlighting their underlying functions in epigenetic reprogramming.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2021)
       
  • Aldehyde dehydrogenase inhibitors promote DNA damage in ovarian cancer and
           synergize with ATM/ATR inhibitors

    • Authors: Edward Grimley; Alexander J. Cole, Thong T. Luong, Stacy C. McGonigal, Sarah Sinno, Dongli Yang, Kara A. Bernstein, Ronald J. Buckanovich
      Pages: 3540 - 3551
      Abstract: Rationale: Aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) enzymes are often upregulated in cancer cells and associated with therapeutic resistance. ALDH enzymes protect cells by metabolizing toxic aldehydes which can induce DNA double stand breaks (DSB). We recently identified a novel ALDH1A family inhibitor (ALDHi), 673A. We hypothesized that 673A, via inhibition of ALDH1A family members, could induce intracellular accumulation of genotoxic aldehydes to cause DSB and that ALDHi could synergize with inhibitors of the ATM and ATR, proteins which direct DSB repair.Methods: We used immunofluorescence to directly assess levels of the aldehyde 4-hydroxynonenal and comet assays to evaluate DSB. Western blot was used to evaluate activation of the DNA damage response pathways. Cell counts were performed in the presence of 673A and additional aldehydes or aldehyde scavengers. ALDH inhibition results were confirmed using ALDH1A3 CRISPR knockout. Synergy between 673A and ATM or ATR inhibitors was evaluated using the Chou-Talalay method and confirmed in vivo using cell line xenograft tumor studies.Results: The ALDHi 673A cellular accumulation of toxic aldehydes which induce DNA double strand breaks. This is exacerbated by addition of exogenous aldehydes such as vitamin-A (retinaldehyde) and ameliorated by aldehyde scavengers such as metformin and hydralazine. Importantly, ALDH1A3 knockout cells demonstrated increased sensitivity to ATM/ATR inhibitors. And, ALDHi synergized with inhibitors of ATM and ATR, master regulators of the DSB DNA damage response, both in vitro and in vivo. This synergy was evident in homologous recombination (HR) proficient cell lines.Conclusions: ALDHi can be used to induce DNA DSB in cancer cells and synergize with inhibitors the ATM/ATR pathway. Our data suggest a novel therapeutic approach to target HR proficient ovarian cancer cells.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Vitamin C sensitizes triple negative breast cancer to PI3K inhibition
           therapy

    • Authors: Sushmita Mustafi; Vladimir Camarena, Rehana Qureshi, David W. Sant, Zachary Wilkes, Daniel Bilbao, Joyce Slingerland, Susan B. Kesmodel, Gaofeng Wang
      Pages: 3552 - 3564
      Abstract: Rationale: The clinical use of PI3K inhibitors, such as buparlisib, has been plagued with toxicity at effective doses. The aim of this study is to determine if vitamin C, a potent epigenetic regulator, can improve the therapeutic outcome and reduce the dose of buparlisib in treating PIK3CA-mutated triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).Methods: The response of TNBC cells to buparlisib was assessed by EC50 measurements, apoptosis assay, clonogenic assay, and xenograft assay in mice. Molecular approaches including Western blot, immunofluorescence, RNA sequencing, and gene silencing were utilized as experimental tools.Results: Treatment with buparlisib at lower doses, along with vitamin C, induced apoptosis and inhibited the growth of TNBC cells in vitro. Vitamin C via oral delivery rendered a sub-therapeutic dose of buparlisib able to inhibit TNBC xenograft growth and to markedly block metastasis in mice. We discovered that buparlisib and vitamin C coordinately reduced histone H3K4 methylation by enhancing the nuclear translocation of demethylase, KDM5, and by serving as a cofactor to promote KDM5-mediated H3K4 demethylation. The expression of genes in the PI3K pathway, such as AKT2 and mTOR, was suppressed by vitamin C in a KDM5-dependent manner. Vitamin C and buparlisib cooperatively blocked AKT phosphorylation. Inhibition of KDM5 largely abolished the effect of vitamin C on the response of TNBC cells to buparlisib. Additionally, vitamin C and buparlisib co-treatment changed the expression of genes, including PCNA and FILIP1L, which are critical to cancer growth and metastasis.Conclusion: Vitamin C can be used to reduce the dosage of buparlisib needed to produce a therapeutic effect, which could potentially ease the dose-dependent side effects in patients.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • The immune contexture of primary central nervous system diffuse large B
           cell lymphoma associates with patient survival and specific cell signaling
           

    • Authors: Melissa Alame; Emmanuel Cornillot, Valère Cacheux, Valérie Rigau, Valérie Costes-Martineau, Vanessa Lacheretz-Szablewski, Jacques Colinge
      Pages: 3565 - 3579
      Abstract: Rationale: Primary central nervous system diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (PCNSL) is a rare and aggressive entity that resides in an immune-privileged site. The tumor microenvironment (TME) and the disruption of the immune surveillance influence lymphoma pathogenesis and immunotherapy resistance. Despite growing knowledge on heterogeneous therapeutic responses, no comprehensive description of the PCNSL TME is available. We hence investigated the immune subtypes of PCNSL and their association with molecular signaling and survival.Methods: Analysis of PCNSL transcriptomes (sequencing, n = 20; microarrays, n = 34). Integrated correlation analysis and signaling pathway topology enabled us to infer intercellular interactions. Immunohistopathology and digital imaging were used to validate bioinformatic results.Results: Transcriptomics revealed three immune subtypes: immune-rich, poor, and intermediate. The immune-rich subtype was associated to better survival and characterized by hyper-activation of STAT3 signaling and inflammatory signaling, e.g., IFNγ and TNF-α, resembling the hot subtype described in primary testicular lymphoma and solid cancer. WNT/β-catenin, HIPPO, and NOTCH signaling were hyper-activated in the immune-poor subtype. HLA down-modulation was clearly associated with a low or intermediate immune infiltration and the absence of T-cell activation. Moreover, HLA class I down-regulation was also correlated with worse survival with implications on immune-intermediate PCNSL that frequently feature reduced HLA expression. A ligand-receptor intercellular network revealed high expression of two immune checkpoints, i.e., CTLA-4/CD86 and TIM-3/LAGLS9. TIM-3 and galectin-9 proteins were clearly upregulated in PCNSL.Conclusion: Altogether, our study reveals that patient stratification according to immune subtypes, HLA status, and immune checkpoint molecule quantification should be considered prior to immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy. Moreover, TIM-3 protein should be considered an axis for future therapeutic development.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Calcium phosphate engineered photosynthetic microalgae to combat
           hypoxic-tumor by in-situ modulating hypoxia and cascade radio-phototherapy
           

    • Authors: Danni Zhong; Wanlin Li, Shiyuan Hua, Yuchen Qi, Tingting Xie, Yue Qiao, Min Zhou
      Pages: 3580 - 3594
      Abstract: Rationale: Hypoxia is one of the crucial restrictions in cancer radiotherapy (RT), which leads to the hypoxia-associated radioresistance of tumor cells and may result in the sharp decline in therapeutic efficacy.Methods: Herein, living photosynthetic microalgae (Chlorella vulgaris, C. vulgaris), were used as oxygenators, for in situ oxygen generation to relieve tumor hypoxia. We engineered the surface of C. vulgaris (CV) cells with calcium phosphate (CaP) shell by biomineralization, to form a biomimetic system (CV@CaP) for efficient tumor delivery and in-situ active photosynthetic oxygenation reaction in tumor.Results: After intravenous injection into tumor-bearing mice, CV@CaP could remarkably alleviate tumor hypoxia by continuous oxygen generation, thereby achieving enhanced radiotherapeutic effect. Furthermore, a cascade phototherapy could be fulfilled by the chlorophyll released from photosynthetic microalgae combined thermal effects under 650 nm laser irradiation. The feasibility of CV@CaP-mediated combinational treatment was finally validated in an orthotropic breast cancer mouse model, revealing its prominent anti-tumor and anti-metastasis efficacy in hypoxic-tumor management. More importantly, the engineered photosynthetic microalgae exhibited excellent fluorescence and photoacoustic imaging properties, allowing the self-monitoring of tumor therapy and tumor microenvironment.Conclusions: Our studies of this photosynthetic microsystem open up a new dimension for solving the radioresistance issue of hypoxic tumors.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Vitamin C activates pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) targeting the
           mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle in hypoxic KRAS mutant colon
           cancer

    • Authors: Aiora Cenigaonandia-Campillo; Roberto Serna-Blasco, Laura Gómez-Ocabo, Sonia Solanes-Casado, Natalia Baños-Herraiz, Laura Del Puerto-Nevado, Jose Antonio Cañas, María Jesús Aceñero, Jesús García-Foncillas, Óscar Aguilera
      Pages: 3595 - 3606
      Abstract: Background: In hypoxic tumors, positive feedback between oncogenic KRAS and HIF-1α involves impressive metabolic changes correlating with drug resistance and poor prognosis in colorectal cancer. Up to date, designed KRAS-targeting molecules do not show clear benefits in patient overall survival (POS) so pharmacological modulation of aberrant tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle in hypoxic cancer has been proposed as a metabolic vulnerability of KRAS-driven tumors.Methods: Annexin V-FITC and cell viability assays were carried out in order to verify vitamin C citotoxicity in KRAS mutant SW480 and DLD1 as well as in Immortalized Human Colonic Epithelial Cells (HCEC). HIF1a expression and activity were determined by western blot and functional analysis assays. HIF1a direct targets GLUT1 and PDK1 expression was checked using western blot and qRT-PCR. Inmunohistochemical assays were perfomed in tumors derived from murine xenografts in order to validate previous observations in vivo. Vitamin C dependent PDH expression and activity modulation were detected by western blot and colorimetric activity assays. Acetyl-Coa levels and citrate synthase activity were assessed using colorimetric/fluorometric activity assays. Mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψ) and cell ATP levels were assayed using fluorometric and luminescent test.Results: PDK-1 in KRAS mutant CRC cells and murine xenografts was downregulated using pharmacological doses of vitamin C through the proline hydroxylation (Pro402) of the Hypoxia inducible factor-1(HIF-1)α, correlating with decreased expression of the glucose transporter 1 (GLUT-1) in both models. Vitamin C induced remarkable ATP depletion, rapid mitochondrial Δψ dissipation and diminished pyruvate dehydrogenase E1-α phosphorylation at Serine 293, then boosting PDH and citrate synthase activity.Conclusion: We report a striking and previously non reported role of vitamin C in the regulation of the pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) activity, then modulating the TCA cycle and mitochondrial metabolism in KRAS mutant colon cancer. Potential impact of vitamin C in the clinical management of anti-EGFR chemoresistant colorectal neoplasias should be further considered.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • MiR-22 modulates brown adipocyte thermogenesis by synergistically
           activating the glycolytic and mTORC1 signaling pathways

    • Authors: Pengbo Lou; Xueyun Bi, Yuhua Tian, Guilin Li, Qianqian Kang, Cong Lv, Yongli Song, Jiuzhi Xu, Xiaole Sheng, Xu Yang, Ruiqi Liu, Qingyong Meng, Fazheng Ren, Maksim V. Plikus, Bin Liang, Bing Zhang, Huiyuan Guo, Zhengquan Yu
      Pages: 3607 - 3623
      Abstract: Background: Brown adipose tissue (BAT) dissipates chemical energy as heat and has the potential to be a protective strategy to prevent obesity. microRNAs (miRNAs) are emerging as important posttranscriptional factors affecting the thermogenic function of BAT. However, the regulatory mechanism underlying miRNA-mediated energy metabolism in BAT is not fully understood. Here, we explored the roles of miR-22 in BAT thermogenesis and energy metabolism.Methods: Using global and conditional knockout mice as in vivo models and primary brown adipocytes as an in vitro system, we investigated the function of miR-22 in BAT thermogenesis in vivo and in vitro.Results: miR-22 expression was upregulated in BAT in response to cold exposure and during brown preadipocyte differentiation. Both global and conditional knockout mice displayed BAT whitening, impaired cold tolerance, and decreased BAT thermogenesis. Moreover, we found that miR-22 deficiency impaired BAT glycolytic capacity, which is critical for thermogenesis. The mechanistic results revealed that miR-22 activated the mTORC1 signaling pathway by directly suppressing Tsc1 and concomitantly directly suppressing Hif1an, an inhibitor of Hif1α, which promotes glycolysis and maintains thermogenesis.Conclusions: Our findings identify miR-22 as a critical regulator in the control of thermogenesis in BAT and as a potential therapeutic target for human metabolic disorders.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 knockout screening uncovers a novel inflammatory
           pathway critical for resistance to arginine-deprivation therapy

    • Authors: Cheng-Ying Chu; Yi-Ching Lee, Cheng-Han Hsieh, Chi-Tai Yeh, Tsu-Yi Chao, Po-Hung Chen, I-Hsuan Lin, Tsung-Han Hsieh, Jing-Wen Shih, Chia-Hsiung Cheng, Che-Chang Chang, Ping-Sheng Lin, Yuan-Li Huang, Tsung-Ming Chen, Yun Yen, David K. Ann, Hsing-Jien Kung
      Pages: 3624 - 3641
      Abstract: Arginine synthesis deficiency due to the suppressed expression of ASS1 (argininosuccinate synthetase 1) represents one of the most frequently occurring metabolic defects of tumor cells. Arginine-deprivation therapy has gained increasing attention in recent years. One challenge of ADI-PEG20 (pegylated ADI) therapy is the development of drug resistance caused by restoration of ASS1 expression and other factors. The goal of this work is to identify novel factors conferring therapy resistance.Methods: Multiple, independently derived ADI-resistant clones including derivatives of breast (MDA-MB-231 and BT-549) and prostate (PC3, CWR22Rv1, and DU145) cancer cells were developed. RNA-seq and RT-PCR were used to identify genes upregulated in the resistant clones. Unbiased genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 knockout screening was used to identify genes whose absence confers sensitivity to these cells. shRNA and CRISPR/Cas9 knockout as well as overexpression approaches were used to validate the functions of the resistant genes both in vitro and in xenograft models. The signal pathways were verified by western blotting and cytokine release.Results: Based on unbiased CRISPR/Cas9 knockout screening and RNA-seq analyses of independently derived ADI-resistant (ADIR) clones, aberrant activation of the TREM1/CCL2 axis in addition to ASS1 expression was consistently identified as the resistant factors. Unlike ADIR, MDA-MB-231 overexpressing ASS1 cells achieved only moderate ADI resistance both in vitro and in vivo, and overexpression of ASS1 alone does not activate the TREM1/CCL2 axis. These data suggested that upregulation of TREM1 is an independent factor in the development of strong resistance, which is accompanied by activation of the AKT/mTOR/STAT3/CCL2 pathway and contributes to cell survival and overcoming the tumor suppressive effects of ASS1 overexpression. Importantly, knockdown of TREM1 or CCL2 significantly sensitized ADIR toward ADI. Similar results were obtained in BT-549 breast cancer cell line as well as castration-resistant prostate cancer cells. The present study sheds light on the detailed mechanisms of resistance to arginine-deprivation therapy and uncovers novel targets to overcome resistance.Conclusion: We uncovered TREM1/CCL2 activation, in addition to restored ASS1 expression, as a key pathway involved in full ADI-resistance in breast and prostate cancer models.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Nanodefensin-encased hydrogel with dual bactericidal and pro-regenerative
           functions for advanced wound therapy

    • Authors: Gan Luo; Yaqi Sun, Jue Zhang, Zhipeng Xu, Wuyuan Lu, Hanbin Wang, Yan Zhang, Hui Li, Zhengwei Mao, Shixin Ye, Baoli Cheng, Xiangming Fang
      Pages: 3642 - 3660
      Abstract: Background: Host defense peptides (HDPs) have emerged as a novel therapeutic paradigm for wound management; however, their clinical applications remain a challenge owing to their poor pharmacological properties and lack of suitable pharmaceutical formulations. Nanodefensin (ND), a nanoengineered human α-defensin 5 (HD5), has shown improved pharmacological properties relative to the parent compound. In this study, we engineered a nanodefensin-encased hydrogel (NDEFgel), investigated the effects of NDEFgel on wound healing, and elucidated underlying mechanisms.Method: ND was chemically synthesized and tested functions by in vitro antimicrobial and scratch assays and western blotting. Different NDEFgels were evaluated by in vitro characterizations including degradation, drug release and antimicrobial activity. In full-thickness excisional murine models, the optimal NDEFgel was directly applied onto wound sites, and the efficacy was assessed. Moreover, the underlying mechanisms of pro-regenerative effect developed by NDEFgel were also explored.Results: Apart from bactericidal effects, ND modulated fibroblast behaviors by promoting migration and differentiation. Among the tested hydrogels, the Pluronic F127 (Plu) hydrogel represented the most desirable carrier for ND delivery owing to its favorable controlled release and compatibility with ND. Local treatment of NDEFgel on the wound bed resulted in accelerated wound regeneration and attenuated bacterial burden. We further demonstrated that NDEFgel therapy significantly upregulated genes related to collagen deposition and fibroblasts, and increased the expression of myofibroblasts and Rac1. We therefore found that Rac1 is a critical factor in the ND-induced modulation of fibroblast behaviors in vitro through a Rac1-dependent cytoskeletal rearrangement.Conclusion: Our results indicate that NDEFgel may be a promising dual-action therapeutic option for advanced wound management in the future.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Identification of theranostic factors for patients developing metastasis
           after surgery for early-stage lung adenocarcinoma

    • Authors: Wei-Chung Cheng; Chun-Yu Chang, Chia-Chien Lo, Chih-Ying Hsieh, Ting-Ting Kuo, Guan-Chin Tseng, Sze-Ching Wong, Shu-Fen Chiang, Kevin Chih-Yang Huang, Liang-Chuan Lai, Tzu-Pin Lu, K.S. Clifford Chao, Yuh-Pyng Sher
      Pages: 3661 - 3675
      Abstract: Rationale: Lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) is an aggressive disease with high propensity of metastasis. Among patients with early-stage disease, more than 30% of them may relapse or develop metastasis. There is an unmet medical need to stratify patients with early-stage LUAD according to their risk of relapse/metastasis to guide preventive or therapeutic approaches. In this study, we identified 4 genes that can serve both therapeutic and diagnostic (theranostic) purposes.Methods: Three independent datasets (GEO, TCGA, and KMPlotter) were used to evaluate gene expression profile of patients with LUAD by unbiased screening approach. Upon significant genes uncovered, functional enrichment analysis was carried out. The predictive power of their expression on patient prognosis were evaluated. Once confirmed their theranostic roles by integrated bioinformatics, we further conducted in vitro and in vivo validation.Results: We found that four genes (ADAM9, MTHFD2, RRM2, and SLC2A1) were associated with poor patient outcomes with an increased hazard ratio in LUAD. Knockdown of them, both separately and simultaneously, suppressed lung cancer cell proliferation and migration ability in vitro and prolonged survival time in metastatic tumor mouse models. Moreover, these four biomarkers were found to be overexpressed in tumor tissues from LUAD patients, and the total immunohistochemical staining scores correlated with poor prognosis.Conclusions: These results suggest that these four identified genes could be theranostic biomarkers for stratifying high-risk patients who develop relapse/metastasis in early-stage LUAD. Developing therapeutic approaches for the four biomarkers may benefit early-stage LUAD patients after surgery.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Downregulated METTL14 accumulates BPTF that reinforces super-enhancers and
           distal lung metastasis via glycolytic reprogramming in renal cell
           carcinoma

    • Authors: Chuanjie Zhang; Li Chen, Yihan Liu, Jingyi Huang, Ao Liu, Yang Xu, Yan Shen, Hongchao He, Danfeng Xu
      Pages: 3676 - 3693
      Abstract: Background: Methyltransferase-like 14 (METTL14) participates in tumorigenesis in several malignancies, but how METTL14 mediates the metastasis of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) has never been reported.Methods: Western blotting, quantitative real-time PCR, and immunohistochemistry were used to determine the mRNA and protein levels of relevant genes. Methylated RNA immunoprecipitation sequencing and RNA sequencing were utilized to screen potential targets of METTL14. Chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing and assay for transposase-accessible chromatin sequencing were performed to investigate epigenetic alterations. The biological roles and mechanisms of METTL14/BPTF in promoting lung metastasis were confirmed in vitro and in vivo using cell lines, patient samples, xenograft models, and organoids.Results: Utilizing the TCGA-KIRC and Ruijin-RCC datasets, we found low expression of METTL14 in mRCC samples, which predicted poor prognosis. METTL14 deficiency promoted RCC metastasis in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, METTL14-mediated m6A modification negatively regulated the mRNA stability of bromodomain PHD finger transcription factor (BPTF) and depended on BPTF to drive lung metastasis. Accumulated BPTF in METTL14-deficient cells remodeled the enhancer landscape to reinforce several oncogenic crosstalk. Particularly, BPTF constituted super-enhancers that activate downstream targets like enolase 2 and SRC proto-oncogene nonreceptor tyrosine kinase, leading to glycolytic reprogramming of METTL14-/- cells. Finally, we determined the efficacy of the BPTF inhibitor AU1 in suppressing mRCC of patient-derived cells, mRCC-derived organoids (MDOs), and orthotopic xenograft models.Conclusions: Our study is the first to investigate the essential role of m6A modification and the METTL14/BPTF axis in the epigenetic and metabolic remodeling of mRCC, highlighting AU1 as a vital therapeutic candidate.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Polysaccharide mycophenolate-based nanoparticles for enhanced
           immunosuppression and treatment of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases

    • Authors: Yuce Li; Yuchen Lou, Yu Chen, Jing Yang, Danqi Li, Biling Jiang, Jiajia Lan, Jingjing Wen, Yangxue Fu, Yamin Zhang, Juan Tao, Jintao Zhu
      Pages: 3694 - 3709
      Abstract: Immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) are characterized by immune dysregulation and severe inflammation caused by the aberrant and overactive host immunological response. Mycophenolic acid (MPA)-based immunosuppressive drugs are potential treatments for IMIDs because of their mild side-effect profile; however, their therapeutic effects are limited by the high albumin binding rate, unsatisfactory pharmacokinetics, and undefined cellular uptake selectivity.Methods: Polysaccharide mycophenolate was synthesized by conjugating MPA molecules to dextran (a typical polysaccharide widely used in drug delivery) and encapsulated extra free MPA molecules to fabricate MPA@Dex-MPA nanoparticles (NPs). The efficacy of these NPs for mediating immunosuppression and treatment of IMIDs was evaluated in imiquimod-induced psoriasis-like skin inflammation in Balb/c mice, a representative IMID model.Results: The MPA@Dex-MPA NPs exhibited high MPA loading efficiency, low albumin binding rates, and sustained MPA release, resulting in improved pharmacokinetics in vivo. Compared to free MPA, MPA@Dex-MPA NPs induced more robust therapeutic effects on IMIDs. Mechanistic studies indicated that MPA@Dex-MPA NPs were primarily distributed in dendritic cells (DCs) and significantly suppressed the overactivated DCs in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, the recovered DCs rehabilitated the IL-23/Th17 axis function and significantly ameliorated imiquimod-induced psoriasis-like skin inflammation. Importantly, MPA@Dex-MPA NPs showed favorable safety and biocompatibility in vivo.Conclusion: Our results indicated the polysaccharide mycophenolate-based NPs to be highly promising for IMID treatment.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Biocompatible AIEgen/p-glycoprotein siRNA@reduction-sensitive paclitaxel
           polymeric prodrug nanoparticles for overcoming chemotherapy resistance in
           ovarian cancer

    • Authors: Jun Wu; Quan Wang, Xiaoqi Dong, Min Xu, Juliang Yang, Xiaoqing Yi, Biao Chen, Xiyuan Dong, Ying Wang, Xiaoding Lou, Fan Xia, Shixuan Wang, Jun Dai
      Pages: 3710 - 3724
      Abstract: Nanoparticle drug delivery system (NDDS) is quite different from the widely studied traditional chemotherapy which suffers from drug resistance and side effect. NDDS offers the straightforward solution to the chemotherapy problem and provides an opportunity to monitor the drug delivery process in real time. In this vein, we developed one NDDS, namely Py-TPE/siRNA@PMP, to relieve resistance and side effects during chemotherapy against ovarian cancer. The Py-TPE/siRNA@PMP is a multifunctional polymeric nanoparticle contained several parts as follows: (1) a nanoparticle (NP) self-assembled by reduction-sensitive paclitaxel polymeric prodrug (PMP); (2) the glutathione (GSH)-responsive release of paclitaxel (PTX) for the suppression of ovarian cancer cells; (3) the P-glycoprotein (P-gp) siRNA for restoring the sensitivity of chemo-resistant tumor cells to chemotherapy; (4) the positively charged aggregation-induced emission fluorogen (AIEgen) Py-TPE for tumor imaging and promoting encapsulation of siRNA into the nanoparticle.Methods: The Py-TPE/siRNA@PMP nanoparticles were prepared by self-assembly method and characterized by the UV-Vis absorption spectra, zeta potentials, TEM image, stability assay and hydrodynamic size distributions. The combinational therapeutic effects of Py-TPE/siRNA@PMP on overcoming chemotherapy resistance were explored both in vitro and in vivo.Result: The Py-TPE/siRNA@PMP exhibited an average hydrodynamic size with a good stability. Meanwhile they gave rise to the remarkable chemotoxicity performances in vitro and suppressed the tumors growth in both SKOV-3/PTX (PTX resistance) subcutaneous and intraperitoneal metastasis tumor models. The investigations on ovarian cancer patient-derived xenografts (PDX) model revealed that Py-TPE/siRNA@PMP was able to effectively overcome their chemo-resistance with minimal side effects.Conclusion: Our findings demonstrated the Py-TPE/siRNA@PMP as a promising agent for the highly efficient treatment of PTX-resistant cells and overcoming the shortage of chemotherapy in ovarian cancer.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Dual-ligand supramolecular nanofibers inspired by the renin-angiotensin
           

    • Authors: Zhanpeng Wen; Jie Zhan, Hekai Li, Guanghui Xu, Shaodan Ma, Jianwu Zhang, Zehua Li, Caiwen Ou, Zhimou Yang, Yanbin Cai, Minsheng Chen
      Pages: 3725 - 3741
      Abstract: Rationale: The compensatory activation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) after myocardial infarction (MI) plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of heart failure. Most existing studies on this subject focus on mono- or dual-therapy of blocking the RAS, which exhibit limited efficacy and often causes serious adverse reactions. Few studies have been conducted on targeted therapy based on the activated RAS post-MI. Thus, the development of multiple-functional nanomedicine with concurrent targeting ability and synergistic therapeutic effect against RAS may show great promise in improving cardiac function post-MI.Methods: We utilized a cooperative self-assembly strategy constructing supramolecular nanofibers— telmisartan-doped co-assembly nanofibers (TDCNfs) to counter-regulate RAS through targeted delivery and combined therapy. TDCNfs were prepared through serial steps of solvent exchange, heating incubation, gelation, centrifugation, and lyophilization, in which the telmisartan was doped in the self-assembly process of Ang1-7 to obtain the co-assembly nanofibers wherein they act as both therapeutic agents and target-guide agents.Results: TDCNfs exhibited the desired binding affinity to the two different receptors, AT1R and MasR. Through the dual ligand-receptor interactions to mediate the coincident downstream pathways, TDCNfs not only displayed favorably targeted properties to hypoxic cardiomyocytes, but also exerted synergistic therapeutic effects in apoptosis reduction, inflammatory response alleviation, and fibrosis inhibition in vitro and in vivo, significantly protecting cardiac function and mitigating post-MI adverse outcomes.Conclusion: A dual-ligand nanoplatform was successfully developed to achieve targeted and synergistic therapy against cardiac deterioration post-MI. We envision that the integration of multiple therapeutic agents through supramolecular self-assembly would offer new insight for the systematic and targeted treatment of cardiovascular diseases.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • PRMT5 functionally associates with EZH2 to promote colorectal cancer
           progression through epigenetically repressing CDKN2B expression

    • Authors: Liu Yang; Da-wei Ma, Yue-peng Cao, Dong-zheng Li, Xin Zhou, Ji-feng Feng, Jun Bao
      Pages: 3742 - 3759
      Abstract: Background: Protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5) is a type II arginine methyltransferase that symmetrically di-methylates arginine residues on both histone and non-histone protein substrates. Accumulating evidence suggests that PRMT5 exerts its oncogenic properties in a wide spectrum of human malignancies. However, the underlying mechanisms by which PRMT5 contributes to the progression of colorectal cancer (CRC) remain to be defined.Methods: Western blot and real-time PCR were used to analyze the expression of CDKN2B. Co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP), immunofluorescence and GST pulldown assays were employed to investigate the interaction between PRMT5 and EZH2. Luciferase reporter and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays were performed to validate CDKN2B as a direct target of PRMT5/EZH2. DNA methylation status at the CpG islands of promoter region of CDKN2B gene was analyzed by bisulfite sequencing. The effect of PRMT5/EZH2 on malignant phenotypes was examined through in vitro and in vivo assays. PRMT5 and EZH2 protein expression levels in CRC tissues were analyzed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining.Results: We observed that PRMT5-deficient CRC cells exhibit proliferation defects in vitro. PRMT5 was identified as a major transcriptional repressor of CDKN2B (p15INK4b) for determining CRC progression. Mechanistically, PRMT5-mediated histone marks H4R3me2s and H3R8me2s were predominantly deposited at the promoter region of CDKN2B gene in CRC cells. Knockdown of PRMT5 in CRC cells decreased the accumulation of H4R3me2s and H3R8me2s marks and reduced the CpG methylation level of CDKN2B promoter, then re-activated CDKN2B expression. Strikingly, silencing of CDKN2B partially abrogated the proliferation defects caused by PRMT5 depletion in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we proved that PRMT5 interacted with Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), leading to enhanced EZH2 binding and H3K27me3 deposition together with decreased transcriptional output of CDKN2B gene. Importantly, we found that the combined interventions exerted a synergistic inhibitory effect of combined treatment with PRMT5i (GSK591) and EZH2i (GSK126) on the growth of CRC cells/xenografts in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, PRMT5 and EZH2 were found to be significantly elevated and associated with poor prognosis in CRC patients.Conclusion: PRMT5 functionally associates with EZH2 to promote CRC progression through epigenetically repressing CDKN2B expression. Thus, our findings raise the possibility that combinational intervention of PRMT5 and EZH2 may be a promising strategy for CRC therapy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Environmental enrichment implies GAT-1 as a potential therapeutic target
           for stroke recovery

    • Authors: Yuhui Lin; Mengcheng Yao, Haiyin Wu, Feng Wu, Shiying Cao, Huanyu Ni, Jian Dong, Di Yang, Yanyu Sun, Xiaolin Kou, Jun Li, Hui Xiao, Lei Chang, Jin Wu, Yan Liu, Chunxia Luo, Dongya Zhu
      Pages: 3760 - 3780
      Abstract: Rationale: Stroke is a leading cause of adult disability worldwide, but no drug provides functional recovery during the repair phase. Accumulating evidence demonstrates that environmental enrichment (EE) promotes stroke recovery by enhancing network excitability. However, the complexities of utilizing EE in a clinical setting limit its translation.Methods: We used multifaceted approaches combining electrophysiology, chemogenetics, optogenetics, and floxed mice in a mouse photothrombotic stroke model to reveal the key target of EE-mediated stroke recovery.Results: EE reduced tonic gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) inhibition and facilitated phasic GABA inhibition in the peri-infarct cortex, thereby promoting network excitability and stroke recovery. These beneficial effects depended on GAT-1, a GABA transporter regulating both tonic and phasic GABA signaling, as EE positively regulated GAT-1 expression, trafficking, and function. Furthermore, GAT-1 was necessary for EE-induced network plasticity, including structural neuroplasticity, input synaptic strengthening in the peri-infarct cortex, output synaptic strengthening in the corticospinal tract, and sprouting of uninjured corticospinal axons across the midline into the territory of denervated spinal cord, and functional recovery from stroke. Moreover, restoration of GAT-1 function in the peri-infarct cortex by its overexpression showed similar beneficial effects on stroke recovery as EE exposure.Conclusion: GAT-1 is a key molecular substrate of the effects of EE on network excitability and consequent stroke recovery and can serve as a novel therapeutic target for stroke treatment during the repair phase.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Granzyme A inhibition reduces inflammation and increases survival during
           abdominal sepsis

    • Authors: Marcela Garzón-Tituaña; José L Sierra-Monzón, Laura Comas, Llipsy Santiago, Tatiana Khaliulina-Ushakova, Iratxe Uranga-Murillo, Ariel Ramirez-Labrada, Elena Tapia, Elena Morte-Romea, Sonia Algarate, Ludovic Couty, Eric Camerer, Phillip I Bird, Cristina Seral, Pilar Luque, José R Paño-Pardo, Eva M Galvez, Julián Pardo, Maykel Arias
      Pages: 3781 - 3795
      Abstract: Aims: Peritonitis is one of the most common causes of sepsis, a serious syndrome characterized by a dysregulated systemic inflammatory response. Recent evidence suggests that Granzyme A (GzmA), a serine protease mainly expressed by NK and T cells, could act as a proinflammatory mediator and could play an important role in the pathogenesis of sepsis. This work aims to analyze the role and the therapeutic potential of GzmA in the pathogenesis of peritoneal sepsis.Methods: The level of extracellular GzmA as well as GzmA activity were analyzed in serum from healthy volunteers and patients with confirmed peritonitis and were correlated with the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score. Peritonitis was induced in C57Bl/6 (WT) and GzmA-/- mice by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). Mice were treated intraperitoneally with antibiotics alone or in combination serpinb6b, a specific GzmA inhibitor, for 5 days. Mouse survival was monitored during 14 days, levels of some proinflammatory cytokines were measured in serum and bacterial load and diversity was analyzed in blood and spleen at different times.Results: Clinically, elevated GzmA was observed in serum from patients with abdominal sepsis suggesting that GzmA plays an important role in this pathology. In the CLP model GzmA deficient mice, or WT mice treated with an extracellular GzmA inhibitor, showed increased survival, which correlated with a reduction in proinflammatory markers in both serum and peritoneal lavage fluid. GzmA deficiency did not influence bacterial load in blood and spleen and GzmA did not affect bacterial replication in macrophages in vitro, indicating that GzmA has no role in bacterial control. Analysis of GzmA in lymphoid cells following CLP showed that it was mainly expressed by NK cells. Mechanistically, we found that extracellular active GzmA acts as a proinflammatory mediator in macrophages by inducing the TLR4-dependent expression of IL-6 and TNFα.Conclusions: Our findings implicate GzmA as a key regulator of the inflammatory response during abdominal sepsis and provide solid evidences about its therapeutic potential for the treatment of this severe pathology.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Impairment of type H vessels by NOX2-mediated endothelial oxidative
           stress: critical mechanisms and therapeutic targets for bone fragility in
           streptozotocin-induced type 1 diabetic mice

    • Authors: Xiao-Fan Hu; Geng Xiang, Tian-Ji Wang, Yu-Bo Ma, Yang Zhang, Ya-Bo Yan, Xiong Zhao, Zi-Xiang Wu, Ya-Fei Feng, Wei Lei
      Pages: 3796 - 3812
      Abstract: Rationale: Mechanisms underlying the compromised bone formation in type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), which causes bone fragility and frequent fractures, remain poorly understood. Recent advances in organ-specific vascular endothelial cells (ECs) identify type H blood vessel injury in the bone, which actively direct osteogenesis, as a possible player.Methods: T1DM was induced in mice by streptozotocin (STZ) injection in two severity degrees. Bony endothelium, the coupling of angiogenesis and osteogenesis, and bone mass quality were evaluated. Insulin, antioxidants, and NADPH oxidase (NOX) inhibitors were administered to diabetic animals to investigate possible mechanisms and design therapeutic strategies.Results: T1DM in mice led to the holistic abnormality of the vascular system in the bone, especially type H vessels, resulting in the uncoupling of angiogenesis and osteogenesis and inhibition of bone formation. The severity of osteopathy was positively related to glycemic levels. These pathological changes were attenuated by early-started, but not late-started, insulin therapy. ECs in diabetic bones showed significantly higher levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and NOX 1 and 2. Impairments of bone vessels and bone mass were effectively ameliorated by treatment with anti-oxidants or NOX2 inhibitors, but not by a NOX1/4 inhibitor. GSK2795039 (GSK), a NOX2 inhibitor, significantly supplemented the insulin effect on the diabetic bone.Conclusions: Diabetic osteopathy could be a chronic microvascular complication of T1DM. The impairment of type H vessels by NOX2-mediated endothelial oxidative stress might be an important contributor that can serve as a therapeutic target for T1DM-induced osteopathy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Paraventricular thalamic nucleus plays a critical role in consolation and
           anxious behaviors of familiar observers exposed to surgery mice

    • Authors: Qiuting Zeng; Weiran Shan, Hui Zhang, Jianjun Yang, Zhiyi Zuo
      Pages: 3813 - 3829
      Abstract: Background: Consolation behaviors toward the sick are common in humans. Anxiety in the relatives of the sick is also common. Anxiety can cause detrimental effects on multiple systems. However, our understanding on the neural mechanisms of these behaviors is limited because of the lack of small animal models.Methods: Five of 6- to 8-week-old CD-1 male mice were housed in a cage. Among them, 2 mice had right common artery exposure (surgery) and the rest were without surgery. Allo-grooming and performance in light and dark box and elevated plus maze tests of the mice were determined.Results: Mice without surgery had increased allo-grooming toward mice with surgery but decreased allo-grooming toward non-surgery intruders. This increased allo-grooming toward surgery mice was higher in familiar observers of surgery mice than that of mice that were not cage-mates of surgery mice before the surgery. Familiar observers developed anxious behavior after being with surgery mice. Surgery mice with familiar observers had less anxious behavior than surgery mice without interacting with familiar observers. Multiple brain regions including paraventricular thalamic nucleus (PVT) were activated in familiar observers. The activated cells in PVT contained orexin receptors. Injuring the neurons with ibotenic acid, antagonizing orexin signaling with an anti-orexin antibody or inhibiting neurons by chemogenetic approach in PVT abolished the consolation and anxious behaviors of familiar observers.Conclusions: Mice show consolation behavior toward the sick. This behavior attenuates the anxious behavior of surgery mice. The orexin signaling in the PVT neurons play a critical role in the consolation of familiar observers toward surgery mice and their anxious behavior. Considering that about 50 million patients have surgery annually in the United States, our study represents the initial attempt to understand neural mechanisms for consolation and anxiety of a large number of people.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Sunitinib-induced cardiac hypertrophy and the endothelin axis

    • Authors: Joevin Sourdon; Caterina Facchin, Anaïs Certain, Thomas Viel, Blaise Robin, Franck Lager, Carmen Marchiol, Daniel Balvay, Thulaciga Yoganathan, Judith Favier, Pierre-Louis Tharaux, Neeraj Dhaun, Gilles Renault, Bertrand Tavitian
      Pages: 3830 - 3838
      Abstract: Anti-angiogenics drugs in clinical use for cancer treatment induce cardiotoxic side effects. The endothelin axis is involved in hypertension and cardiac remodelling, and addition of an endothelin receptor antagonist to the anti-angiogenic sunitinib was shown to reduce cardiotoxicity of sunitinib in mice. Here, we explored further the antidote effect of the endothelin receptor antagonist macitentan in sunitinib-treated animals on cardiac remodeling.Methods: Tumor-bearing mice treated per os daily by sunitinib or vehicle were imaged before and after 1, 3 and 6 weeks of treatment by positron emission tomography using [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose and by echocardiography. Non-tumor-bearing animals were randomly assigned to be treated per os daily by vehicle or sunitinib or macitentan or sunitinib+macitentan, and imaged by echocardiography after 5 weeks. Hearts were harvested for histology and molecular analysis at the end of in vivo exploration.Results: Sunitinib treatment increases left ventricular mass and ejection fraction and induces cardiac fibrosis. Sunitinib also induces an early increase in cardiac uptake of [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose, which is significantly correlated with increased left ventricular mass at the end of treatment. Co-administration of macitentan prevents sunitinib-induced hypertension, increase in ejection fraction and cardiac fibrosis, but fails to prevent increase of the left ventricular mass.Conclusion: Early metabolic changes predict sunitinib-induced cardiac remodeling. Endothelin blockade can prevent some but not all cardiotoxic side-effects of sunitinib, in particular left ventricle hypertrophy that appears to be induced by sunitinib through an endothelin-independent mechanism.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Lactate-induced M2 polarization of tumor-associated macrophages promotes
           the invasion of pituitary adenoma by secreting CCL17

    • Authors: Anke Zhang; Yuanzhi Xu, Houshi Xu, Jie Ren, Tong Meng, Yunjia Ni, Qingwei Zhu, Wen-Bo Zhang, Yuan-Bo Pan, Jiali Jin, Yunke Bi, Zhe Bao Wu, Shaojian Lin, Meiqing Lou
      Pages: 3839 - 3852
      Abstract: Background: Lactate greatly contributes to the regulation of intracellular communication within the tumor microenvironment (TME). However, the role of lactate in pituitary adenoma (PA) invasion is unclear. In this study, we aimed to clarify the effects of lactate on the TME and the effects of TME on PA invasion.Methods: To explore the correlation between TME acidosis and tumor invasion, LDHA and LAMP2 expression levels were quantified in invasive (n = 32) and noninvasive (n = 32) PA samples. The correlation between immune cell infiltration and tumor invasion was evaluated in 64 PAs. Critical chemokine and key signaling pathway components were detected by qPCR, Western blotting, siRNA knockdown, and specific inhibitors. The functional consequences of CCR4 signaling inhibition were evaluated in vitro and in vivo.Results: Lactate was positively associated with PA invasion. Of the 64 PA tissues, invasive PAs were related to high infiltration of M2-like tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) (P < 0.05). Moreover, lactate secreted from PA cells facilitated M2 polarization via the mTORC2 and ERK signaling pathways, while activated TAMs secreted CCL17 to promote PA invasion via the CCL17/CCR4/mTORC1 axis. According to univariate analysis of clinical data, high CCL17 expression was associated with larger tumor size (P = 0.0438), greater invasion (P = 0.0334), and higher susceptibility to postoperative recurrence (P = 0.0195) in human PAs.Conclusion: This study illustrates the dynamics between PA cells and immune TME in promoting PA invasion via M2 polarization. CCL17 levels in the TME are related to the PA invasiveness and clinical prognosis, and the CCL17/CCR4/mTOCR1 axis may serve as potential therapeutic targets for Pas.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 replication can be inhibited by targeting the
           interaction between the viral spike protein and the nucleocapsid protein

    • Authors: Byoung Kwon Park; Jinsoo Kim, Sangkyu Park, Dongbum Kim, Minyoung Kim, Kyeongbin Baek, Joon-Yong Bae, Man-Seong Park, Won-Keun Kim, Younghee Lee, Hyung-Joo Kwon
      Pages: 3853 - 3867
      Abstract: Background: The molecular interactions between viral proteins form the basis of virus production and can be used to develop strategies against virus infection. The interactions of the envelope proteins and the viral RNA-binding nucleocapsid (N) protein are essential for the assembly of coronaviruses including the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).Methods: Using co-immunoprecipitation, immunostaining, and proteomics analysis, we identified a protein interacting with the spike (S) protein in the cells infected with MERS-CoV or SARS-CoV-2. To confirm the interaction, synthetic peptides corresponding to the C-terminal domain of the S protein (Spike CD) were produced and their effect on the interaction was investigated in vitro. In vivo effect of the Spike CD peptides after cell penetration was further investigated using viral plaque formation assay. Phylogeographic analyses were conducted to deduce homology of Spike CDs and N proteins.Results: We identified a direct interaction between the S protein and the N protein of MERS-CoV that takes place during virus assembly in infected cells. Spike CD peptides of MERS-CoV inhibited the interaction between the S and N proteins in vitro. Furthermore, cell penetration by the synthetic Spike CD peptides inhibited viral plaque formation in MERS-CoV-infected cells. Phylogeographic analyses of Spike CDs and N proteins showed high homology among betacoronavirus lineage C strains. To determine if Spike CD peptides can inhibit the replication of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), we used the same strategy and found that the SARS-CoV-2 Spike CD peptide inhibited virus replication in SARS-CoV-2-infected cells.Conclusions: We suggest that the interaction between the S protein and the N protein can be targeted to design new therapeutics against emerging coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • KDM6B-mediated histone demethylation of LDHA promotes lung metastasis of
           osteosarcoma

    • Authors: Yuhang Jiang; Fengfeng Li, Bowen Gao, Mengjun Ma, Meng Chen, Yanfeng Wu, Weidong Zhang, Yangbai Sun, Sanhong Liu, Huiyong Shen
      Pages: 3868 - 3881
      Abstract: Rationale: Osteosarcoma (OS), the most common type of bone tumor, which seriously affects the patients' limb function and life quality. OS has a strong tendency of lung metastasis, and the five-year survival rate of patients with metastatic osteosarcoma is less than 20%. Thus, new treatment targets and strategies are urgently needed.Methods: The expression of the histone demethylase KDM6B and H3K27me3 levels in OS specimens were analyzed using quantitative PCR and immunohistochemical assays. The biological functions of KDM6B were determined using in vitro transwell, wound healing assays, and an in vivo orthotopic injection-induced lung metastasis model. Subsequently, chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) combined with transcriptomic RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), and subsequent ChIP-qPCR, western blot, and aerobic glycolysis assays were used to explore the mechanism of KDM6B function and validate the candidate target gene of KDM6B.Results: KDM6B expression was significantly upregulated in OS patients, and high KDM6B expression was associated with poorer prognosis in OS patients. Targeting KDM6B significantly inhibited OS cell migration in vitro and lung metastasis in vivo. RNA-seq and ChIP-seq analysis revealed that KDM6B increases lactate dehydrogenase LDHA expression in OS cells by directly mediating H3K27me3 demethylation. The phenotypes of inhibited cell metastasis in KDM6B-knockdown OS cells was reversed upon overexpression of LDHA. Finally, a small molecule inhibitor targeting KDM6B significantly inhibited OS cell migration in vitro and lung metastasis in vivo.Conclusions: Collectively, we elucidated that upregulated KDM6B facilitates tumor metastasis in OS via modulating LDHA expression. Our findings deepen the recognition of OS metastasis mechanism and suggest that KDM6B might be a new potential therapeutic target for the treatment of OS (especially highly metastatic OS).
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Molecular targets for anticancer therapies in companion animals and
           humans: what can we learn from each other'

    • Authors: Irati Beltrán Hernández; Jannes Z. Kromhout, Erik Teske, Wim E. Hennink, Sebastiaan A. van Nimwegen, Sabrina Oliveira
      Pages: 3882 - 3897
      Abstract: Despite clinical successes in the treatment of some early stage cancers, it is undeniable that novel and innovative approaches are needed to aid in the fight against cancer. Targeted therapies offer the desirable feature of tumor specificity while sparing healthy tissues, thereby minimizing side effects. However, the success rate of translation of these therapies from the preclinical setting to the clinic is dramatically low, highlighting an important point of necessary improvement in the drug development process in the oncology field. The practice of a comparative oncology approach can address some of the current issues, by introducing companion animals with spontaneous tumors in the linear drug development programs. In this way, animals from the veterinary clinic get access to novel/innovative therapies, otherwise inaccessible, while generating robust data to aid therapy refinement and increase translational success. In this review, we present an overview of targetable membrane proteins expressed in the most well-characterized canine and feline solid cancers, greatly resembling the counterpart human malignancies. We identified particular areas in which a closer collaboration between the human and veterinary clinic would benefit both human and veterinary patients. Considerations and challenges to implement comparative oncology in the development of anticancer targeted therapies are also discussed.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • The short isoform of PRLR suppresses the pentose phosphate pathway and
           nucleotide synthesis through the NEK9-Hippo axis in pancreatic cancer

    • Authors: Huizhen Nie; Pei-Qi Huang, Shu-Heng Jiang, Qin Yang, Li-Peng Hu, Xiao-Mei Yang, Jun Li, Ya-Hui Wang, Qing Li, Yi-Fan Zhang, Lei Zhu, Yan-Li Zhang, Yanqiu Yu, Gary Guishan Xiao, Yong-Wei Sun, Jianguang Ji, Zhi-Gang Zhang
      Pages: 3898 - 3915
      Abstract: Prolactin binding to the prolactin receptor exerts pleiotropic biological effects in vertebrates. The prolactin receptor (PRLR) has multiple isoforms due to alternative splicing. The biological roles and related signaling of the long isoform (PRLR-LF) have been fully elucidated. However, little is known about the short isoform (PRLR-SF), particularly in cancer development and metabolic reprogramming, a core hallmark of cancer. Here, we reveal the role and underlying mechanism of PRLR-SF in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).Methods: A human PDAC tissue array was used to investigate the clinical relevance of PRLR in PDAC. The in vivo implications of PRLR-SF in PDAC were examined in a subcutaneous xenograft model and an orthotopic xenograft model. Immunohistochemistry was performed on tumor tissue obtained from genetically engineered KPC (KrasG12D/+; Trp53R172H/+; Pdx1-Cre) mice with spontaneous tumors. 13C-labeled metabolite measures, LC-MS, EdU incorporation assays and seahorse analyses were used to identify the effects of PRLR-SF on the pentose phosphate pathway and glycolysis. We identified the molecular mechanisms by immunofluorescence, coimmunoprecipitation, proximity ligation assays, chromatin immunoprecipitation and promoter luciferase activity. Public databases (TCGA, GEO and GTEx) were used to analyze the expression and survival correlations of the related genes.Results: We demonstrated that PRLR-SF is predominantly expressed in spontaneously forming pancreatic tumors of genetically engineered KPC mice and human PDAC cell lines. PRLR-SF inhibits the proliferation of PDAC cells (AsPC-1 and BxPC-3) in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. We showed that PRLR-SF reduces the expression of genes in the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) and nucleotide biosynthesis by activating Hippo signaling. TEAD1, a downstream transcription factor of Hippo signaling, directly regulates the expression of G6PD and TKT, which are PPP rate-limiting enzymes. Moreover, NEK9 directly interacts with PRLR-SF and is the intermediator between PRLR and the Hippo pathway. The PRLR expression level is negatively correlated with overall survival and TNM stage in PDAC patients. Additionally, pregnancy and lactation increase the ratio of PRLR-SF:PRLR-LF in the pancreas of wild-type mice and subcutaneous PDAC xenograft tumors.Conclusion: Our characterization of the relationship between PRLR-SF signaling, the NEK9-Hippo pathway, PPP and nucleotide synthesis explains a mechanism for the correlation between PRLR-SF and metabolic reprogramming in PDAC progression. Strategies to alter this pathway might be developed for the treatment or prevention of pancreatic cancer.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Engineering extracellular vesicles with platelet membranes fusion enhanced
           targeted therapeutic angiogenesis in a mouse model of myocardial ischemia
           reperfusion

    • Authors: Qiyu Li; Yanan Song, Qiaozi Wang, Jing Chen, Jinfeng Gao, Haipeng Tan, Su Li, Yuan Wu, Hongbo Yang, Hanwei Huang, Yang Yu, Yao Li, Ning Zhang, Zheyong Huang, Zhiqing Pang, Juying Qian, Junbo Ge
      Pages: 3916 - 3931
      Abstract: Therapeutic angiogenesis is one promising strategy for the treatment of ischemic heart disease, which is the leading cause of death globally. In recent years, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have quickly gained much attention as a cell-free approach to stimulate angiogenesis. However, clinical applications of EVs are limited by their insufficient targeting capability. Herein, we introduce a method to enhance therapeutic angiogenesis based on platelet membrane-engineered EVs.Methods: Platelet-mimetic EVs (P-EVs) were fabricated by fusing the membranes of EVs with platelet membranes by extrusion. A mouse model of myocardial ischemia reperfusion (MI/R) was established and injected with PBS, EVs, and P-EVs to evaluate their targeting ability and therapeutic angiogenesis efficacy.Results: P-EVs inherited the adhesive proteins and natural targeting ability to injured vasculature of platelets and retained the pro-angiogenic potential of EVs. In the MI/R model, P-EVs preferentially accumulated in the injured endothelium of the ischemic hearts and enhanced the angiogenesis potency of EVs.Conclusions: This engineering strategy to modify pre-isolated EVs with platelet membranes by membrane fusion bestows EVs with the targeting ability of platelets and offers an exciting opportunity to design other targeted EVs fused with cell membranes from different sources for therapeutic angiogenesis.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Exosomal miR-500a-5p derived from cancer-associated fibroblasts promotes
           breast cancer cell proliferation and metastasis through targeting USP28

    • Authors: Bing Chen; Yuting Sang, Xiaojin Song, Dong Zhang, Lijuan Wang, Wenjing Zhao, Yiran Liang, Ning Zhang, Qifeng Yang
      Pages: 3932 - 3947
      Abstract: The tumor microenvironment contributes to tumor progression and metastasis. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) form a major cellular component of the tumor microenvironment. In this study, we further explored the mechanisms underlying the tumor-promoting roles of CAFs.Methods: Patient-derived CAFs and normal fibroblasts (NFs) were isolated from breast carcinomas and adjacent normal breast tissue. Exosomes were isolated by ultracentrifugation and CAF-derived exosomal microRNAs were screened using next-generation sequencing technology. MiR-500a-5p expression was assessed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and in situ hybridization; Tumor cell proliferation was determined by MTT assays and three-dimensioned (3D) cultures, and tumor metastasis was determined by Transwell assays in vitro. In vivo assays were performed in a nude mouse subcutaneous xenograft model.Results: We confirmed that CAF-derived exosomes significantly promoted the proliferation and metastasis of breast cancer cells. MiR-500a-5p was highly expressed in MDA-MB-231 and MCF7 cells treated with CAF-derived exosomes. The upregulation of miR-500a-5p was also confirmed in CAFs and CAF-derived exosomes. MiR-500a-5p was transferred from CAFs to the cancer cells, and subsequently promoted proliferation and metastasis by binding to ubiquitin-specific peptidase 28 (USP28).Conclusions: The present study demonstrates that CAFs promote breast cancer progression and metastasis via exosomal miR-500a-5p and indicate that inhibiting CAF-derived miR-500a-5p is an alternative modality for the treatment of breast cancer.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Injectable conductive hydrogel can reduce pacing threshold and enhance
           efficacy of cardiac pacemaker

    • Authors: Zhao An; Jun Wu, Shu-Hong Li, Shanglin Chen, Fang-Lin Lu, Zhi-Yun Xu, Hsing-Wen Sung, Ren-Ke Li
      Pages: 3948 - 3960
      Abstract: Background: Pacemaker implantation is currently used in patients with symptomatic bradycardia. Since a pacemaker is a lifetime therapeutic device, its energy consumption contributes to battery exhaustion, along with its voltage stimulation resulting in local fibrosis and greater resistance, which are all detrimental to patients. The possible resolution for those clinical issues is an injection of a conductive hydrogel, poly-3-amino-4-methoxybenzoic acid-gelatin (PAMB-G), to reduce the myocardial threshold voltage for pacemaker stimulation. Methods: PAMB-G is synthesized by covalently linking PAMB to gelatin, and its conductivity is measured using two-point resistivity. Rat hearts are injected with gelatin or PAMB-G, and pacing threshold is evaluated using electrocardiogram and cardiac optical mapping. Results: PAMB-G conductivity is 13 times greater than in gelatin. The ex vivo model shows that PAMB-G significantly enhances cardiac tissue stimulation. Injection of PAMB-G into the stimulating electrode location at the myocardium has a 4 times greater reduction of pacing threshold voltage, compared with electrode-only or gelatin-injected tissues. Multi-electrode array mapping reveals that the cardiac conduction velocity of PAMB-G group is significantly faster than the non- or gelatin-injection groups. PAMB-G also reduces pacing threshold voltage in an adenosine-induced atrial-ventricular block rat model. Conclusion: PAMB-G hydrogel reduces cardiac pacing threshold voltage, which is able to enhance pacemaker efficacy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • LncRNA PFL contributes to cardiac fibrosis by acting as a competing
           endogenous RNA of let-7d: Erratum

    • Authors: Haihai Liang; Zhenwei Pan, Xiaoguang Zhao, Li Liu, Jian Sun, Xiaomin Su, Chaoqian Xu, Yuhong Zhou, Dandan Zhao, Bozhi Xu, Xuelian Li, Baofeng Yang, Yanjie Lu, Hongli Shan
      Pages: 3961 - 3962
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Overcoming erlotinib resistance in EGFR mutation-positive lung
           adenocarcinomas through repression of phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase:
           Erratum

    • Authors: Jiang-Kai Dong; Hui-Min Lei, Qian Liang, Ya-Bin Tang, Ye Zhou, Yang Wang, Shengzhe Zhang, Wen-Bin Li, Yunguang Tong, Guanglei Zhuang, Liang Zhang, Hong-Zhuan Chen, Liang Zhu, Ying Shen
      Pages: 3963 - 3963
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Downregulation of death receptor 4 is tightly associated with positive
           response of EGFR mutant lung cancer to EGFR-targeted therapy and improved
           prognosis

    • Authors: Shuo Zhang; Zhen Chen, Puyu Shi, Songqing Fan, Yong He, Qiming Wang, Yixiang Li, Suresh S. Ramalingam, Taofeek K. Owonikoko, Shi-Yong Sun
      Pages: 3964 - 3980
      Abstract: Death receptor 4 (DR4), a cell surface receptor, mediates apoptosis or induces inflammatory cytokine secretion upon binding to its ligand depending on cell contexts. Its prognostic impact in lung cancer and connection between EGFR-targeted therapy and DR4 modulation has not been reported and thus was the focus of this study.Methods: Intracellular protein alterations were measured by Western blotting. Cell surface protein was detected with antibody staining and flow cytometry. mRNA expression was monitored with qRT-PCR. Gene transactivation was analyzed with promoter reporter assay. Drug dynamic effects in vivo were evaluated using xenografts. Gene modulations were achieved with gene overexpression and knockdown. Proteins in human archived tissues were stained with immunohistochemistry.Results: EGFR inhibitors (e.g., osimertinib) decreased DR4 levels only in EGFR mutant NSCLC cells and tumors, being tightly associated with induction of apoptosis. This modulation was lost once cells became resistant to these inhibitors. Increased levels of DR4 were detected in cell lines with acquired osimertinib resistance and in NSCLC tissues relapsed from EGFR-targeted therapy. DR4 knockdown induced apoptosis and augmented apoptosis when combined with osimertinib in both sensitive and resistant cell lines, whereas enforced DR4 expression significantly attenuated osimertinib-induced apoptosis. Mechanistically, osimertinib induced MARCH8-mediated DR4 proteasomal degradation and suppressed MEK/ERK/AP-1-dependent DR4 transcription, resulting in DR4 downregulation. Moreover, we found that DR4 positive expression in human lung adenocarcinoma was significantly associated with poor patient survival.Conclusions: Collectively, we suggest that DR4 downregulation is coupled to therapeutic efficacy of EGFR-targeted therapy and predicts improved prognosis, revealing a previously undiscovered connection between EGFR-targeted therapy and DR4 modulation.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • SIRT3-mediated deacetylation of NLRC4 promotes inflammasome activation

    • Authors: Chenyang Guan; Xian Huang, Jinnan Yue, Hongrui Xiang, Samina Shaheen, Zhenyan Jiang, Yuexiao Tao, Jun Tu, Zhenshan Liu, Yufeng Yao, Wen Yang, Zhaoyuan Hou, Junling Liu, Xiao-Dong Yang, Qiang Zou, Bing Su, Zhiduo Liu, Jun Ni, Jinke Cheng, Xuefeng Wu
      Pages: 3981 - 3995
      Abstract: Salmonella typhimurium (S. typhimurium) infection of macrophage induces NLRC4 inflammasome-mediated production of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β. Post-translational modifications on NLRC4 are critical for its activation. Sirtuin3 (SIRT3) is the most thoroughly studied mitochondrial nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) -dependent deacetylase. We wondered whether SIRT3 mediated-deacetylation could take part in NLRC4 inflammasome activation.Methods: We initially tested IL-1β production and pyroptosis after cytosolic transfection of flagellin or S. typhimurium infection in wild type and SIRT3-deficient primary peritoneal macrophages via immunoblotting and ELISA assay. These results were confirmed in SIRT3-deficient immortalized bone marrow derived macrophages (iBMDMs) which were generated by CRISPR-Cas9 technology. In addition, in vivo experiments were conducted to confirm the role of SIRT3 in S. typhimurium-induced cytokines production. Then NLRC4 assembly was analyzed by immune-fluorescence assay and ASC oligomerization assay. Immunoblotting, ELISA and flow cytometry were performed to clarify the role of SIRT3 in NLRP3 and AIM2 inflammasomes activation. To further investigate the mechanism of SIRT3 in NLRC4 activation, co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP), we did immunoblot, cellular fractionation and in-vitro deacetylation assay. Finally, to clarify the acetylation sites of NLRC4, we performed liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and immunoblotting analysis.Results: SIRT3 deficiency led to significantly impaired NLRC4 inflammasome activation and pyroptosis both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, SIRT3 promotes NLRC4 inflammasome assembly by inducing more ASC speck formation and ASC oligomerization. However, SIRT3 is dispensable for NLRP3 and AIM2 inflammasome activation. Moreover, SIRT3 interacts with and deacetylates NLRC4 to promote its activation. Finally, we proved that deacetylation of NLRC4 at Lys71 or Lys272 could promote its activation.Conclusions: Our study reveals that SIRT3 mediated-deacetylation of NLRC4 is pivotal for NLRC4 activation and the acetylation switch of NLRC4 may aid the clearance of S. typhimurium infection.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Exosomes in atherosclerosis: performers, bystanders, biomarkers, and
           therapeutic targets

    • Authors: Chen Wang; Zhelong Li, Yunnan Liu, Lijun Yuan
      Pages: 3996 - 4010
      Abstract: Exosomes are nanosized lipid vesicles originating from the endosomal system that carry many macromolecules from their parental cells and play important roles in intercellular communication. The functions and underlying mechanisms of exosomes in atherosclerosis have recently been intensively studied. In this review, we briefly introduce exosome biology and then focus on advances in the roles of exosomes in atherosclerosis, specifically exosomal changes associated with atherosclerosis, their cellular origins and potential functional cargos, and their detailed impacts on recipient cells. We also discuss the potential of exosomes as biomarkers and drug carriers for managing atherosclerosis.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2021)
       
  • Optical Tissue Clearing: Illuminating Brain Function and Dysfunction

    • Authors: Xiaohan Liang; Haiming Luo
      Pages: 3035 - 3051
      Abstract: Tissue optical clearing technology has been developing rapidly in the past decade due to advances in microscopy equipment and various labeling techniques. Consistent modification of primary methods for optical tissue transparency has allowed observation of the whole mouse body at single-cell resolution or thick tissue slices at the nanoscale level, with the final aim to make intact primate and human brains or thick human brain tissues optically transparent. Optical clearance combined with flexible large-volume tissue labeling technology can not only preserve the anatomical structure but also visualize multiple molecular information from intact samples in situ. It also provides a new strategy for studying complex tissues, which is of great significance for deciphering the functional structure of healthy brains and the mechanisms of neurological pathologies. In this review, we briefly introduce the existing optical clearing technology and discuss its application in deciphering connection and structure, brain development, and brain diseases. Besides, we discuss the standard computational analysis tools for large-scale imaging dataset processing and information extraction. In general, we hope that this review will provide a valuable reference for researchers who intend to use optical clearing technology in studying the brain.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Ferroptosis as a novel therapeutic target for cardiovascular disease

    • Authors: Xiaoguang Wu; Yi Li, Shuchen Zhang, Xiang Zhou
      Pages: 3052 - 3059
      Abstract: Cell death is an important component of the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease. An understanding of how cardiomyocytes die, and why regeneration of cells in the heart is limited, is a critical area of study. Ferroptosis is a form of regulated cell death that is characterized by iron overload, leading to accumulation of lethal levels of lipid hydroperoxides. The metabolism of iron, lipids, amino acids and glutathione tightly controls the initiation and execution of ferroptosis. Emerging evidence shows that ferroptosis is closely associated with the occurrence and progression of various diseases. In recent years, ferroptosis has been found to play critical roles in cardiomyopathy, myocardial infarction, ischemia/reperfusion injury, and heart failure. This article reviews the mechanisms by which ferroptosis is initiated and controlled and discusses ferroptosis as a novel therapeutic target for various cardiovascular diseases.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Systematic analysis of enhancer regulatory circuit perturbation driven by
           copy number variations in malignant glioma

    • Authors: Jun Xiao; Xiaoyan Jin, Chunlong Zhang, Haozhe Zou, Zhenghong Chang, Nan Han, Xia Li, Yunpeng Zhang, Yongsheng Li
      Pages: 3060 - 3073
      Abstract: Background: Enhancers are emerging regulatory regions controlling gene expression in diverse cancer types. However, the functions of enhancer regulatory circuit perturbations driven by copy number variations (CNVs) in malignant glioma are unclear. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the comprehensive enhancer regulatory perturbation and identify potential biomarkers in glioma.Results: We performed a meta-analysis of the enhancer centered regulatory circuit perturbations in 683 gliomas by integrating CNVs, gene expression, and transcription factors (TFs) binding. We found widespread CNVs of enhancers during glioma progression, and CNVs were associated with the perturbations of enhancer activities. In particular, the degree of perturbations for amplified enhancers was much greater accompanied by the glioma malignant progression. In addition, CNVs and enhancers cooperatively regulated the expressions of cancer-related genes. Genome-wide TF binding profiles revealed that enhancers were pervasively regulated by TFs. A network-based analysis of TF-enhancer-gene regulatory circuits revealed a core TF-gene module (58 interactions including seven genes and 14 TFs) that was associated survival of patients with glioma (p < 0.001). Finally, we validated this prognosis-associated TF-gene regulatory module in an independent cohort. In summary, our analyses provided new molecular insights for enhancer-centered transcriptional perturbation in glioma therapy.Conclusion: Integrative analysis revealed enhancer regulatory perturbations in glioma and also identified a network module that was associated with patient survival, thereby providing novel insights into enhancer-centered cancer therapy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Highly specific and label-free histological identification of
           microcrystals in fresh human gout tissues with stimulated Raman scattering
           

    • Authors: Bohan Zhang; Hanlin Xu, Jun Chen, Xiaoxia Zhu, Yu Xue, Yifan Yang, Jianpeng Ao, Yinghui Hua, Minbiao Ji
      Pages: 3074 - 3088
      Abstract: Gout is a common metabolic disease with growing burden, caused by monosodium urate (MSU) microcrystal deposition. In situ and chemical-specific histological identification of MSU is crucial in the diagnosis and management of gout, yet it remains inaccessible for current histological methods.Methods: Stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscopy was utilized to image MSU based on its fingerprint Raman spectra. We first tested SRS for the diagnosis capability of gout and the differentiation power from pseudogout with rat models of acute gout arthritis, calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease (CPDD) and comorbidity. Then, human synovial fluid and surgical specimens (n=120) were were imaged with SRS to obtain the histopathology of MSU and collagen fibers. Finally, quantitative SRS analysis was performed in gout tissue of different physiological phases (n=120) to correlate with traditional histopathology including H&E and immunohistochemistry staining.Results: We demonstrated that SRS is capable of early diagnosis of gout, rapid detection of MSU in synovial fluid and fresh unprocessed surgical tissues, and accurate differentiation of gout from pseudogout in various pathophysiological conditions. Furthermore, quantitative SRS analysis revealed the optical characteristics of MSU deposition at different pathophysiological stages, which were found to matched well with corresponding immunofluorescence histochemistry features.Conclusion: Our work demonstrated the potential of SRS microscopy for rapid intraoperative diagnosis of gout and may facilitate future fundamental researches of MSU-based diseases.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Siglec15 shapes a non-inflamed tumor microenvironment and predicts the
           molecular subtype in bladder cancer

    • Authors: Jiao Hu; Anze Yu, Belaydi Othmane, Dongxu Qiu, Huihuang Li, Chao Li, Peihua Liu, Wenbiao Ren, Minfeng Chen, Guanghui Gong, Xi Guo, Huihui Zhang, Jinbo Chen, Xiongbing Zu
      Pages: 3089 - 3108
      Abstract: Rationale: Siglec15 is an emerging target for normalization cancer immunotherapy. However, pan-cancer anti-Siglec15 treatment is not yet validated and the potential role of Siglec15 in bladder cancer (BLCA) remains elusive.Methods: We comprehensively evaluated the expression pattern and immunological role of Siglec15 using pan-cancer analysis based on RNA sequencing data obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas. We then systematically correlated Siglec15 with immunological characteristics in the BLCA tumor microenvironment (TME), including immunomodulators, cancer immunity cycles, tumor-infiltrating immune cells (TIICs), immune checkpoints, and T cell inflamed score. We also analyzed the role of Siglec15 in predicting the molecular subtype and the response to several treatment options in BLCA. Our results were validated in several public cohorts as well as our BLCA tumor microarray cohort, the Xiangya cohort. We developed an immune risk score (IRS), validated it, and tested its ability to predict the prognosis and response to cancer immunotherapy.Results: We found that Siglec15 was specifically overexpressed in the TME of various cancers. We hypothesize that Siglec15 designs a non-inflamed TME in BLCA based on the evidence that Siglec15 negatively correlated with immunomodulators, TIICs, cancer immunity cycles, immune checkpoints, and T cell inflamed score. Bladder cancer with high Siglec15 expression was not sensitive to cancer immunotherapy, but exhibited a higher incidence of hyperprogression. High Siglec15 levels indicated a luminal subtype of BLCA characterized by lower immune infiltration, lower response to cancer immunotherapy and neoadjuvant chemotherapy, but higher response to anti-angiogenic therapy and targeted therapies such as blocking Siglec15, β-catenin, PPAR-γ, and FGFR3 pathways. Notably, a combination of anti-Siglec15 and cancer immunotherapy may be a more effective strategy than monotherapy. IRS can accurately predict the prognosis and response to cancer immunotherapy.Conclusions: Anti-Siglec15 immunotherapy might be suitable for BLCA treatment as Siglec15 correlates with a non-inflamed TME in BLCA. Siglec15 could also predict the molecular subtype and the response to several treatment options.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Nasal administration of mitochondria reverses chemotherapy-induced
           cognitive deficits

    • Authors: Jenolyn F. Alexander; Alexandre V. Seua, Luis D. Arroyo, Pradipta R. Ray, Andi Wangzhou, Laura Heiβ-Lückemann, Manfred Schedlowski, Theodore J. Price, Annemieke Kavelaars, Cobi J. Heijnen
      Pages: 3109 - 3130
      Abstract: Up to seventy-five percent of patients treated for cancer suffer from cognitive deficits which can persist for months to decades, severely impairing quality of life. Although the number of cancer survivors is increasing tremendously, no efficacious interventions exist. Cisplatin, most commonly employed for solid tumors, leads to cognitive impairment including deficits in memory and executive functioning. We recently proposed deficient neuronal mitochondrial function as its underlying mechanism. We hypothesized nasal administration of mitochondria isolated from human mesenchymal stem cells to mice, can reverse cisplatin-induced cognitive deficits.Methods: Puzzle box, novel object place recognition and Y-maze tests were used to assess the cognitive function of mice. Immunofluorescence and high-resolution confocal microscopy were employed to trace the nasally delivered mitochondria and evaluate their effect on synaptic loss. Black Gold II immunostaining was used to determine myelin integrity. Transmission electron microscopy helped determine mitochondrial and membrane integrity of brain synaptosomes. RNA-sequencing was performed to analyse the hippocampal transcriptome.Results: Two nasal administrations of mitochondria isolated from human mesenchymal stem cells to mice, restored executive functioning, working and spatial memory. Confocal imaging revealed nasally delivered mitochondria rapidly arrived in the meninges where they were readily internalized by macrophages. The administered mitochondria also accessed the rostral migratory stream and various other brain regions including the hippocampus where they colocalized with GFAP+ cells. The restoration of cognitive function was associated with structural repair of myelin in the cingulate cortex and synaptic loss in the hippocampus. Nasal mitochondrial donation also reversed the underlying synaptosomal mitochondrial defects. Moreover, transcriptome analysis by RNA-sequencing showed reversal of cisplatin-induced changes in the expression of about seven hundred genes in the hippocampus. Pathway analysis identified Nrf2-mediated response as the top canonical pathway.Conclusion: Our results provide key evidence on the therapeutic potential of isolated mitochondria - restoring both brain structure and function, their capability to enter brain meninges and parenchyma upon nasal delivery and undergo rapid cellular internalization and alter the hippocampal transcriptome. Our data identify nasal administration of mitochondria as an effective strategy for reversing chemotherapy-induced cognitive deficits and restoring brain health, providing promise for the growing population of both adult and pediatric cancer survivors.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Conditioned medium from adipose-derived stem cells attenuates
           ischemia/reperfusion-induced cardiac injury through the
           microRNA-221/222/PUMA/ETS-1 pathway

    • Authors: Tzu-Lin Lee; Tsai-Chun Lai, Shu-Rung Lin, Shu-Wha Lin, Yu-Chen Chen, Chi-Ming Pu, I-Ta Lee, Jaw-Shiun Tsai, Chiang-Wen Lee, Yuh-Lien Chen
      Pages: 3131 - 3149
      Abstract: Rationale: Cardiovascular diseases, such as myocardial infarction (MI), are the leading causes of death worldwide. Reperfusion therapy is the common standard treatment for MI. However, myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) causes cardiomyocyte injury, including apoptosis and fibrosis. We aimed to investigate the effects of conditioned medium from adipose-derived stem cells (ADSC-CM) on apoptosis and fibrosis in I/R-treated hearts and hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R)-treated cardiomyocytes and the underlying mechanisms.Methods: ADSC-CM was collected from ADSCs. The effects of intramuscular injection of ADSC-CM on cardiac function, cardiac apoptosis, and fibrosis examined by echocardiography, Evans blue/TTC staining, TUNEL assay, and Masson's trichrome staining in I/R-treated mice. We also examined the effects of ADSC-CM on apoptosis and fibrosis in H/R-treated H9c2 cells by annexin V/PI flow cytometry, TUNEL assay, and immunocytochemistry.Results: ADSC-CM treatment significantly reduced heart damage and fibrosis of I/R-treated mice and H/R-treated cardiomyocytes. In addition, the expression of apoptosis-related proteins, such as p53 upregulated modulator of apoptosis (PUMA), p-p53 and B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL2), as well as the fibrosis-related proteins ETS-1, fibronectin and collagen 3, were significantly reduced by ADSC-CM treatment. Moreover, we demonstrated that ADSC-CM contains a large amount of miR-221/222, which can target and regulate PUMA or ETS-1 protein levels. Furthermore, the knockdown of PUMA and ETS-1 decreased the induction of apoptosis and fibrosis, respectively. MiR-221/222 overexpression achieved similar results. We also observed that cardiac I/R markedly increased apoptosis and fibrosis in miR-221/222 knockout (KO) mice, while ADSC-CM decreased these effects. The increased phosphorylation of p38 and NF‐κB not only mediated myocardial apoptosis through the PUMA/p53/BCL2 pathway but also regulated fibrosis through the ETS-1/fibronectin/collagen 3 pathway.Conclusions: Overall, our results show that ADSC-CM attenuates cardiac apoptosis and fibrosis by reducing PUMA and ETS-1 expression, respectively. The protective effect is mediated via the miR-221/222/p38/NF-κB pathway.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • PHB2 promotes tumorigenesis via RACK1 in non-small cell lung cancer

    • Authors: Bin Wu; Ning Chang, Hangtian Xi, Jie Xiong, Ying Zhou, Yingtong Wu, Shuo Wu, Ning Wang, Hongyu Yi, Yun Song, Lihua Chen, Jian Zhang
      Pages: 3150 - 3166
      Abstract: Background: Lung cancer has the highest mortality rate among cancers worldwide, with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) the most common type. Increasing evidence shows that PHB2 is highly expressed in other cancer types; however, the effects of PHB2 in NSCLC are currently poorly understood.Method: PHB2 expression and its clinical relevance in NSCLC tumor tissues were analyzed using a tissue microarray. The biological role of PHB2 in NSCLC was investigated in vitro and in vivo using immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence staining, gene expression knockdown and overexpression, cell proliferation assay, flow cytometry, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay, wound healing assay, Transwell assay, western blot analysis, qRT-PCR, coimmunoprecipitation, and mass spectrometry analysis.Results: Our major finding is that PHB2 facilitates tumorigenesis in NSCLC by interacting with and stabilizing RACK1, which further induces activation of downstream tumor-promoting effectors. PHB2 was found to be overexpressed in NSCLC tumor tissues, and its expression was correlated with clinicopathological features. Furthermore, PHB2 overexpression promoted proliferation, migration, and invasion, whereas PHB2 knockdown enhanced apoptosis in NSCLC cells. The stimulating effect of PHB2 on tumorigenesis was also verified in vivo. In addition, PHB2 interacted with RACK1 and increased its expression through posttranslational modification, which further induced activation of the Akt and FAK pathways.Conclusions: Our results reveal the effects of PHB2 on tumorigenesis and its regulation of RACK1 and RACK1-associated proteins and downstream signaling in NSCLC. We believe that the crosstalk between PHB2 and RACK1 provides us with a great opportunity to design and develop novel therapeutic strategies for NSCLC.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Holo-lactoferrin: the link between ferroptosis and radiotherapy in
           triple-negative breast cancer

    • Authors: Zheng Zhang; Menglan Lu, Cailong Chen, Xing Tong, Yunhong Li, Kai Yang, Haitao Lv, Jiaying Xu, Liqiang Qin
      Pages: 3167 - 3182
      Abstract: Rationale: Iron-saturated Lf (Holo-Lactoferrin, Holo-Lf) exhibits a superior anticancer property than low iron-saturated Lf (Apo-Lf). Ferroptosis is an iron-dependent cell death characterized by the accumulation of lipid peroxidation products and lethal reactive oxygen species (ROS). Radiotherapy also exerts its therapeutic effect through ROS.Methods: The effect of different iron-saturated Lf on ferroptosis and radiotherapy were tested on triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cell line MDA-MB-231 and non-TNBC cell line MCF-7.Results: Holo-Lf significantly increased the total iron content, promoted ROS generation, increased lipid peroxidation end product, malondialdehyde (MDA), and enhanced ferroptosis of MDA-MB-231 cells. By contrast, Apo-Lf upregulated SLC7a11 expression, increased GSH generation and inhibited ferroptosis of MDA-MB-231 cells. However, non-TNBC MCF-7 cells were resistant to Holo-Lf-induced ferroptosis because MCF-7 cells have a higher redox balance capacity than MDA-MB-231 cells. More importantly, Holo-Lf downregulated HIF-1α expression, ameliorated the hypoxia microenvironment in subcutaneous MDA-MB-231 tumors, and promoted radiation-induced DNA damage to hypoxic MDA-MB-231 cells. Finally, the efficacy of radiotherapy to MDA-MB-231 tumors was enhanced by Holo-Lf.Conclusion: Holo-Lf could induce ferroptosis in MDA-MB-231 cells and sensitize MDA-MB-231 tumors to radiotherapy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Engineering exosomes for targeted drug delivery

    • Authors: Yujie Liang; Li Duan, Jianping Lu, Jiang Xia
      Pages: 3183 - 3195
      Abstract: Exosomes are cell-derived nanovesicles that are involved in the intercellular transportation of materials. Therapeutics, such as small molecules or nucleic acid drugs, can be incorporated into exosomes and then delivered to specific types of cells or tissues to realize targeted drug delivery. Targeted delivery increases the local concentration of therapeutics and minimizes side effects. Here, we present a detailed review of exosomes engineering through genetic and chemical methods for targeted drug delivery. Although still in its infancy, exosome-mediated drug delivery boasts low toxicity, low immunogenicity, and high engineerability, and holds promise for cell-free therapies for a wide range of diseases.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Metallothionein-1G suppresses pancreatic cancer cell stemness by limiting
           activin A secretion via NF-κB inhibition

    • Authors: Kai Li; Zhicheng Zhang, Yu Mei, Qingzhu Yang, Shupei Qiao, Cheng Ni, Yao Yao, Xinyuan Li, Mengmeng Li, Dongdong Wei, Wangjun Fu, Xuefei Guo, Xuemei Huang, Huanjie Yang
      Pages: 3196 - 3212
      Abstract: Resistance to chemotherapy is a long-standing problem in the management of cancer, and cancer stem cells are regarded as the main source of this resistance. This study aimed to investigate metallothionein (MT)-1G involvement in the regulation of cancer stemness and provide a strategy to overcome chemoresistance in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).Methods: MT1G was identified as a critical factor related with gemcitabine resistance in PDAC cells by mRNA microarray. Its effects on PDAC stemness were evaluated through sphere formation and tumorigenicity. LC-MS/MS analysis of conditional medium revealed that activin A, a NF-κB target, was a major protein secreted from gemcitabine resistant PDAC cells. Both loss-of-function and gain-of-function approaches were used to validate that MT1G inhibited NF-κB-activin A pathway. Orthotopic pancreatic tumor model was employed to explore the effects on gemcitabine resistance with recombinant follistatin to block activin A.Results: Downregulation of MT1G due to hypermethylation of its promoter is related with pancreatic cancer stemness. Secretome analysis revealed that activin A, a NF-κB target, was highly secreted by drug resistant cells. It promotes pancreatic cancer stemness in Smad4-dependent or independent manners. Mechanistically, MT1G negatively regulates NF-κB signaling and promotes the degradation of NF-κB p65 subunit by enhancing the expression of E3 ligase TRAF7. Blockade of activin A signaling with follistatin could overcome gemcitabine resistance.Conclusions: MT1G suppresses PDAC stemness by limiting activin A secretion via NF-κB inhibition. The blockade of the activin A signaling with follistatin may provide a promising therapeutic strategy for overcoming gemcitabine resistance in PDAC.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Prussian blue nanozyme-mediated nanoscavenger ameliorates acute
           pancreatitis via inhibiting TLRs/NF-κB signaling pathway

    • Authors: Xue Xie; Jiulong Zhao, Wei Gao, Jie Chen, Bing Hu, Xiaojun Cai, Yuanyi Zheng
      Pages: 3213 - 3228
      Abstract: Rationale: Acute pancreatitis (AP) is a serious acute condition affecting the abdomen and shows high morbidity and mortality rates. Its global incidence has increased in recent years. Inflammation and oxidative stress are potential therapeutic targets for AP. This study was conducted to investigate the intrinsic anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects of Prussian blue nanozyme (PBzyme) on AP, along with its underlying mechanism.Methods: Prussian blue nanozymes were prepared by polyvinylpyrrolidone modification method. The effect of PBzyme on inhibiting inflammation and scavenging reactive oxygen species was verified at the cellular level. The efficacy and mechanism of PBzyme for prophylactically treating AP were evaluated using the following methods: serum testing in vivo, histological scoring following hematoxylin and eosin staining, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling fluorescence staining, polymerase chain reaction array, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analysis and Western blotting analysis.Results: The synthetic PBzyme showed potent anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects in reducing oxidative stress and alleviating inflammation both in vitro and in vivo in the prophylactic treatment of AP. The prophylactic therapeutic efficacy of PBzyme on AP may involve inhibition of the toll-like receptor/nuclear factor-κB signaling pathway and reactive oxygen species scavenging.Conclusion: The single-component, gram-level mass production, stable intrinsic biological activity, biosafety, and good therapeutic efficacy suggest the potential of PBzyme in the preventive treatment of AP. This study provides a foundation for the clinical application of PBzyme.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Large-scale tumor-associated collagen signatures identify high-risk breast
           cancer patients

    • Authors: Gangqin Xi; Wenhui Guo, Deyong Kang, Jianli Ma, Fangmeng Fu, Lida Qiu, Liqin Zheng, Jiajia He, Na Fang, Jianhua Chen, Jingtong Li, Shuangmu Zhuo, Xiaoxia Liao, Haohua Tu, Lianhuang Li, Qingyuan Zhang, Chuan Wang, Stephen A. Boppart, Jianxin Chen
      Pages: 3229 - 3243
      Abstract: The notion of personalized medicine demands proper prognostic biomarkers to guide the optimal therapy for an invasive breast cancer patient. However, various risk prediction models based on conventional clinicopathological factors and emergent molecular assays have been frequently limited by either a low strength of prognosis or restricted applicability to specific types of patients. Therefore, there is a critical need to develop a strong and general prognosticator.Methods: We observed five large-scale tumor-associated collagen signatures (TACS4-8) obtained by multiphoton microscopy at the invasion front of the breast primary tumor, which contrasted with the three tumor-associated collagen signatures (TACS1-3) discovered by Keely and coworkers at a smaller scale. Highly concordant TACS1-8 classifications were obtained by three independent observers. Using the ridge regression analysis, we obtained a TACS-score for each patient based on the combined TACS1-8 and established a risk prediction model based on the TACS-score. In a blind fashion, consistent retrospective prognosis was obtained from 995 breast cancer patients in both a training cohort (n= 431) and an internal validation cohort (n = 300) collected from one clinical center, and in an external validation cohort (n = 264) collected from a different clinical center.Results: TACS1-8 model alone competed favorably with all reported models in predicting disease-free survival (AUC: 0.838, [0.800-0.872]; 0.827, [0.779-0.868]; 0.807, [0.754-0.853] in the three cohorts) and stratifying low- and high-risk patients (HR 7.032, [4.869-10.158]; 6.846, [4.370-10.726], 4.423, [2.917-6.708]). The combination of these factors with the TACS-score into a nomogram model further improved the prognosis (AUC: 0.865, [0.829-0.896]; 0.861, [0.816-0.898]; 0.854, [0.805-0.894]; HR 7.882, [5.487-11.323]; 9.176, [5.683-14.816], and 5.548, [3.705-8.307]). The nomogram identified 72 of 357 (~20%) patients with unsuccessful 5-year disease-free survival that might have been undertreated postoperatively.Conclusions: The risk prediction model based on TACS1-8 considerably outperforms the contextual clinical model and may thus convince pathologists to pursue a TACS-based breast cancer prognosis. Our methodology identifies a significant portion of patients susceptible to undertreatment (high-risk patients), in contrast to the multigene assays that often strive to mitigate overtreatment. The compatibility of our methodology with standard histology using traditional (non-tissue-microarray) formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue sections could simplify subsequent clinical translation.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Co-delivery of siPTPN13 and siNOX4 via (myo)fibroblast-targeting polymeric
           micelles for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis therapy

    • Authors: Jiwei Hou; Qijian Ji, Jie Ji, Shenghong Ju, Chun Xu, Xueqing Yong, Xiaoxuan Xu, Mohd. Muddassir, Xiang Chen, Jinbing Xie, Xiaodong Han
      Pages: 3244 - 3261
      Abstract: Rationale: (Myo)fibroblasts are the ultimate effector cells responsible for the production of collagen within alveolar structures, a core phenomenon in the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Although (myo)fibroblast-targeted therapy holds great promise for suppressing the progression of IPF, its development is hindered by the limited drug delivery efficacy to (myo)fibroblasts and the vicious circle of (myo)fibroblast activation and evasion of apoptosis.Methods: Here, a dual small interfering RNA (siRNA)-loaded delivery system of polymeric micelles is developed to suppress the development of pulmonary fibrosis via a two-arm mechanism. The micelles are endowed with (myo)fibroblast-targeting ability by modifying the Fab' fragment of the anti-platelet-derived growth factor receptor-α (PDGFRα) antibody onto their surface. Two different sequences of siRNA targeting protein tyrosine phosphatase-N13 (PTPN13, a promoter of the resistance of (myo)fibroblasts to Fas-induced apoptosis) and NADPH oxidase-4 (NOX4, a key regulator for (myo)fibroblast differentiation and activation) are loaded into micelles to inhibit the formation of fibroblastic foci.Results: We demonstrate that Fab'-conjugated dual siRNA-micelles exhibit higher affinity to (myo)fibroblasts in fibrotic lung tissue. This Fab'-conjugated dual siRNA-micelle can achieve remarkable antifibrotic effects on the formation of fibroblastic foci by, on the one hand, suppressing (myo)fibroblast activation via siRNA-induced knockdown of NOX4 and, on the other hand, sensitizing (myo)fibroblasts to Fas-induced apoptosis by siRNA-mediated PTPN13 silencing. In addition, this (myo)fibroblast-targeting siRNA-loaded micelle did not induce significant damage to major organs, and no histopathological abnormities were observed in murine models.Conclusion: The (myo)fibroblast-targeting dual siRNA-loaded micelles offer a potential strategy with promising prospects in molecular-targeted fibrosis therapy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Semaphorins as emerging clinical biomarkers and therapeutic targets in
           cancer

    • Authors: Roberta Mastrantonio; Hua You, Luca Tamagnone
      Pages: 3262 - 3277
      Abstract: Semaphorins are a large family of developmental regulatory signals, characterized by aberrant expression in human cancers. These molecules crucially control cell-cell communication, cell migration, invasion and metastasis, tumor angiogenesis, inflammatory and anti-cancer immune responses. Semaphorins comprise secreted and cell surface-exposed molecules and their receptors are mainly found in the Plexin and Neuropilin families, which are further implicated in a signaling network controlling the tumor microenvironment. Accumulating evidence indicates that semaphorins may be considered as novel clinical biomarkers for cancer, especially for the prediction of patient survival and responsiveness to therapy. Moreover, preclinical experimental studies have demonstrated that targeting semaphorin signaling can interfere with tumor growth and/or metastatic dissemination, suggesting their relevance as novel therapeutic targets in cancer; this has also prompted the development of semaphorin-interfering molecules for application in the clinic. Here we will survey, in diverse human cancers, the current knowledge about the relevance of semaphorin family members, and conceptualize potential lines of future research development in this field.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Recent advances in innovative strategies for enhanced cancer photodynamic
           therapy

    • Authors: Tingting Hu; Zhengdi Wang, Weicheng Shen, Ruizheng Liang, Dan Yan, Min Wei
      Pages: 3278 - 3300
      Abstract: Photodynamic therapy (PDT), a non-invasive therapeutic modality, has received increasing attention owing to its high selectivity and limited side effects. Although significant clinical research progress has been made in PDT, the breadth and depth of its clinical application have not been fully realized due to the limitations such as inadequate light penetration depth, non-targeting photosensitizers (PSs), and tumor hypoxia. Consequently, numerous investigations put their emphasis on innovative strategies to overcome the aforementioned limitations and enhance the therapeutic effect of PDT. Herein, up-to-date advances in these innovative methods for PDT are summarized by introducing the design of PS systems, their working mechanisms and application examples. In addition, current challenges of these innovative strategies for clinical application, and future perspectives on further improvement of PDT are also discussed.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • RGD-expressed bacterial membrane-derived nanovesicles enhance cancer
           therapy via multiple tumorous targeting

    • Authors: Jin Gao; Sihan Wang, Xinyue Dong, Zhenjia Wang
      Pages: 3301 - 3316
      Abstract: Background: A tumor microenvironment is a complicated multicellular system comprised of tumor cells, immune cells and blood vessels. Blood vessels are the barriers for drug tissue penetration. Effectively treating a cancer requires drug delivery systems to overcome biological barriers present in tumor microenvironments (TMEs).Methods: We designed a drug delivery system made of bacterial (Escherichia coli) double layer membrane-derived nanovesicles (DMVs) with the expression of RGD peptides and endogenous targeting ligands of bacteria. The physical and biological characteristics of DMVs were assessed by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy, western blotting, flow cytometry and confocal microscopy. Doxorubicin (DOX) was loaded in DMVs via a pH gradient driven drug loading method. Therapeutical effects of DOX-loaded DMVs were studied in a melanoma xenograft mouse model.Results: In vitro and in vivo experiments showed that DMVs can target neutrophils and monocytes that mediated the transport of DMVs across blood vessel barriers and they can also directly target tumor vasculature and tumor cells, resulting in enhanced delivery of therapeutics to TMEs. Furthermore, we developed a remote drug loading approach to efficiently encapsulate DOX inside DMVs, and the drug loading was 12% (w/w). In the B16-F10 melanoma mouse model, we showed that DOX-RGD-DMVs significantly inhibited the tumor growth compared to several controls.Conclusion: Our studies reveal that DMVs are a powerful tool to simultaneously target multiple cells in TMEs, thus increasing drug delivery for improved cancer therapies.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Organ-organ communication: The liver's perspective

    • Authors: Fei Wang; Kwok-Fai So, Jia Xiao, Hua Wang
      Pages: 3317 - 3330
      Abstract: Communication between organs participates in most physiological and pathological events. Owing to the importance of precise coordination among the liver and virtually all organs in the body for the maintenance of homeostasis, many hepatic disorders originate from impaired organ-organ communication, resulting in concomitant pathological phenotypes of distant organs. Hepatokines are proteins that are predominantly secreted from the liver, and many hepatokines and several signaling proteins have been linked to diseases of other organs, such as the heart, muscle, bone, and eyes. Although liver-centered interorgan communication has been proposed in both basic and clinical studies, to date, the regulatory mechanisms of hepatokine production, secretion, and reciprocation with signaling factors from other organs are obscure. Whether other hormones and cytokines are involved in such communication also warrants investigation. Herein, we summarize the current knowledge of organ-organ communication phenotypes in a variety of diseases and the possible involvement of hepatokines and/or other important signaling factors. This provides novel insight into the underlying roles and mechanisms of liver-originated signal transduction and, more importantly, the understanding of disease in an integrative view.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • An in vitro model using spheroids-laden nanofibrous structures for
           attaining high degree of myoblast alignment and differentiation

    • Authors: Miji Yeo; SooJung Chae, GeunHyung Kim
      Pages: 3331 - 3347
      Abstract: A spheroid is an aggregation of single cells with structural and functional characteristics similar to those of 3D native tissues, and it has been utilized as one of the typical in vitro three-dimensional (3D) cell models. Scaffold-free spheroids provide outstanding reflection of tissue complexity in a 3D in vivo-like environment, but they can neither fabricate realistic macroscale 3D complex structures without avoiding necrosis nor receive direct external stimuli (i.e., stimuli from mechanical or topographical cues). Here, we propose a spheroid-laden electrospinning process to obtain in vitro model achieved using the synergistic effect of the unique bioactive components provided by the spheroids and stimulating effects provided by the aligned nanofibers.Methods: To show the functional activity of the spheroid-laden structures, we used myoblast-spheroids to obtain skeletal muscle, comprising highly aligned myotubes, utilizing an uniaxially arranged topographical cue. The spheroid-electrospinning was used to align spheroids directly by embedding them in aligned alginate nanofibers, which were controlled with various materials and processing parameters.Results: The spheroids laden in the alginate nanofibers showed high cell viability (>90%) and was compared with that of a cell-laden alginate nanofiber that was electrospun with single cells. Consequently, the spheroids laden in the aligned nanofibers showed a significantly higher degree of myotube formation and maturation.Conclusion: Results suggested that the in vitro model using electrospun spheroids could potentially be employed to understand myogenic responses for various in vitro drug tests.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Roles of peptidyl-prolyl isomerase Pin1 in disease pathogenesis

    • Authors: Jingyi Li; Chunfen Mo, Yifan Guo, Bowen Zhang, Xiao Feng, Qiuyue Si, Xiaobo Wu, Zhe Zhao, Lixin Gong, Dan He, Jichun Shao
      Pages: 3348 - 3358
      Abstract: Pin1 belongs to the peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerases (PPIases) superfamily and catalyzes the cis-trans conversion of proline in target substrates to modulate diverse cellular functions including cell cycle progression, cell motility, and apoptosis. Dysregulation of Pin1 has wide-ranging influences on the fate of cells; therefore, it is closely related to the occurrence and development of various diseases. This review summarizes the current knowledge of Pin1 in disease pathogenesis.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • SAM68 promotes tumorigenesis in lung adenocarcinoma by regulating
           metabolic conversion via PKM alternative splicing

    • Authors: Song Zhu; Weiping Chen, Jizhong Wang, Ling Qi, Huilin Pan, Zhengfu Feng, Dongbo Tian
      Pages: 3359 - 3375
      Abstract: Background: A metabolic “switch” from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis provides tumor cells with energy and biosynthetic substrates, thereby promoting tumorigenesis and malignant progression. However, the mechanisms controlling this metabolic switch in tumors is not entirely clear.Methods: Clinical specimens were used to determine the effect of SAM68 on lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) tumorigenesis and metastasis, and mouse models and molecular biology assays were performed to elucidate the function and underlying mechanisms in vitro and in vivo.Results: SAM68 mRNA levels were higher in LUAD tissue than in normal lung tissue, indicating that SAM68 expression is upregulated in LUAD. Patients with LUAD with SAM68high (n = 257) had a higher frequency of tumor recurrence (p = 0.025) and recurrence-free survival (p = 0.013) than did those with SAM68low (n = 257). Patients with SAM68high mRNA levels (n = 257) were at a higher risk for cancer-related death (p = 0.006), and had shorter overall survival (p = 0.044) than did those with SAM68low. SAM68 promotes tumorigenesis and metastasis of LUAD cells in vitro and in vivo by regulating the cancer metabolic switch. SAM68 drives cancer metabolism by mediating alternative splicing of pyruvate kinase (PKM) pre-mRNAs, and promoting the formation of PKM2. Mechanistically, SAM68 increased the binding of the splicing repressor hnRNP A1 to exon 9 of PKM, thereby enhancing PKM2 isoform formation and PKM2-dependent aerobic glycolysis and tumorigenesis.Conclusions: SAM68 promotes LUAD cell tumorigenesis and cancer metabolic programming via binding of the 351-443 aa region of SAM68 to the RGG motif of hnRNP A1, driving hnRNP A1-dependent PKM splicing, contributing to increased oncogene PKM2 isoform formation and inhibition of PKM1 isoform formation. SAM68 is therefore a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of LUAD.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Hypoxia-induced Nur77 activates PI3K/Akt signaling via suppression of
           Dicer/let-7i-5p to induce epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition

    • Authors: Zeyu Shi; Sally K. Y. To, Shuaishuai Zhang, Shan Deng, Margarita Artemenko, Minda Zhang, Juan Tang, Jin-Zhang Zeng, Alice S.T. Wong
      Pages: 3376 - 3391
      Abstract: Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) and the associated metastatic lesions are reported to be hypoxic. Hypoxia is a common feature in the tumor microenvironment and a potent stimulant of CRC. We have identified a regulatory role of Nur77 on Akt activation to enhance β-catenin signaling essential for CRC progression under hypoxic conditions.Methods: The functional role of Nur77 in hypoxia-induced EMT was examined by scattering assays to monitor the morphologies of CRC cell lines under 1% O2. Sphere formation assays were performed to investigate whether Nur77 induced cancer stem cell-like properties in hypoxic CRC cells. The expression of various epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and stemness markers was analyzed by qPCR and Western blotting. Finally, Nur77 function and signaling in vivo was ascertained in subcutaneous tumor xenograft or liver metastasis model in nude mice using CRC cells stably transfected with appropriate constructs.Results: Herein, we show, for the first time, that Nur77 is a novel regulator of microRNA biogenesis that may underlie its significant tumor-promoting activities in CRC cells under hypoxia. Mechanistically, Nur77 interacted with the tumor suppressor protein p63, leading to the inhibition of p63-dependent transcription of Dicer, an important miRNA processor and subsequent decrease in the biogenesis of let-7i-5p which targeted the 3'UTR of p110α mRNA and regulated its stability. Knockdown of Nur77 or overexpression of let-7i-5p inhibited the tumor metastasis in vivo.Conclusion: Our data uncovered a novel mechanistic link connecting Nur77, Akt, and invasive properties of CRC in the hypoxic microenvironment.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • ILT4 inhibition prevents TAM- and dysfunctional T cell-mediated
           immunosuppression and enhances the efficacy of anti-PD-L1 therapy in NSCLC
           with EGFR activation

    • Authors: Xiaozheng Chen; Aiqin Gao, Fang Zhang, Zijiang Yang, Shuyun Wang, Yuying Fang, Juan Li, Jingnan Wang, Wenjing Shi, Linlin Wang, Yan Zheng, Yuping Sun
      Pages: 3392 - 3416
      Abstract: Rationale: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) against the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway showed limited success in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, especially in those with activating epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations. Elucidation of the mechanisms underlying EGFR-mediated tumor immune escape and the development of effective immune therapeutics are urgently needed. Immunoglobulin-like transcript (ILT) 4, a crucial immunosuppressive molecule initially identified in myeloid cells, is enriched in solid tumor cells and promotes the malignant behavior of NSCLC. However, the upstream regulation of ILT4 overexpression and its function in tumor immunity of NSCLC with EGFR activation remains unclear.Methods: ILT4 expression and EGFR phosphorylation in human NSCLC tissues and cell lines were analyzed using immunohistochemistry (IHC), real-time PCR, Western blotting, immunofluorescence, and flow cytometry. The molecular signaling for EGFR-regulated ILT4 expression was investigated using mRNA microarray and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database analyses and then confirmed by Western blotting. The regulation of tumor cell proliferation and apoptosis by ILT4 was examined by CCK8 proliferation and apoptosis assays. The impact of ILT4 and PD-L1 on tumor-associated macrophage (TAM) recruitment and polarization was evaluated using Transwell migration assay, flow cytometry, enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and real-time PCR, while their impact on T cell survival and cytotoxicity was analyzed by CFSE proliferation assay, apoptotic assay, flow cytometry, ELISA and cytolytic assay. Tumor immunotherapy models targeting at paired Ig-like receptor B (PIR-B, an ortholog of ILT4 in mouse)/ILT4 and/or PD-L1 were established in C57BL/6 mice inoculated with stable EGFR- overexpressing Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) cells and in humanized NSG mice inoculated with EGFR mutant, gefitinib-resistant PC9 (PC9-GR) or EGFR-overexpressing wild type H1299 cells. PIR-B and ILT4 inhibition was implemented by infection of specific knockdown lentivirus and PD-L1 was blocked using human/mouse neutralizing antibodies. The tumor growth model was established in NSG mice injected with PIR-B-downregulated LLC cells to evaluate the effect of PIR-B on tumor proliferation. The frequencies and phenotypes of macrophages and T cells in mouse spleens and blood were detected by flow cytometry while those in tumor tissues were determined by IHC and immunofluorescence.Results: We found that ILT4 expression in tumor cells was positively correlated with EGFR phosphorylation in human NSCLC tissues. Using NSCLC cell lines, we demonstrated that ILT4 was upregulated by both tyrosine kinase mutation-induced and epidermal growth factor (EGF)-dependent EGFR activation and subsequent AKT/ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Overexpressed ILT4 in EGFR-activated tumor cells induced TAM recruitment and M2-like polarization, which impaired T cell function. ILT4 also directly inhibited T cell proliferation, cytotoxicity, and IFN-γ expression and secretion. In EGFR-activated cell lines in vitro and in wild-type EGFR-activated C57BL/6 and humanized NSG immunotherapy models in vivo, either ILT4 (PIR-B) or PD-L1 inhibition enhanced anti-tumor immunity and suppressed tumor progression by counteracting TAM- and dysfunctional T cell- induced immuno-suppressive TME; the combined inhibition of both molecules showed the most dramatic tumor retraction. Surprisingly, in EGFR mutant, TKI resistant humanized NSG immunotherapy model, ILT4 inhibition alone rather than in combination with a PD-L1 inhibitor suppressed tumor growth and immune evasion.Conclusions: ILT4 was induced by activation of EGFR-AKT and ERK1/2 signaling in NSCLC cells. Overexpressed ILT4 suppressed tumor immunity by recruiting M2-like TAMs and impairing T cell response, while ILT4 inhibition prevented immunosuppression and tumor promotion. Furthermore, ILT4 inhibition enhanced the efficacy of PD-L1 inhibitor in EGFR wild-type but not in EGFR mutant NSCLC. Our study identified novel mechanisms for EGFR-mediated tumor immune escape, and provided promising immunotherapeutic strategies for patients with EGFR-activated NSCLC.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Colon tissue-accumulating mesoporous carbon nanoparticles loaded with
           Musca domestica cecropin for ulcerative colitis therapy

    • Authors: Lun Zhang; Shuiqing Gui, Yinghua Xu, Jiali Zeng, Jian Wang, Qingru Chen, Liqian Su, Ziyan Wang, Rui Deng, Fujiang Chu, Wenbin Liu, Xiaobao Jin, Xuemei Lu
      Pages: 3417 - 3438
      Abstract: Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a modern refractory disease with steadily increasing incidence worldwide that urgently requires effective and safe therapies. Therapeutic peptides delivered using nanocarriers have shown promising developments for the treatment of UC. We developed a novel colon-accumulating oral drug delivery nanoplatform consisting of Musca domestica cecropin (MDC) and mesoporous carbon nanoparticles (MCNs) and investigated its effects and mechanism of action for the treatment of UC.Methods: An optimized one-step soft templating method was developed to synthesize MCNs, into which MDC was loaded to fabricate MDC@MCNs. MCNs and MDC@MCNs were characterized by BET, XRD, and TEM. MDC and MDC@MCNs resistance to trypsin degradation was measured through Oxford cup antibacterial experiments using Salmonella typhimurium as the indicator. Uptake of MDC and MDC@MCNs by NCM460 cells was observed by fluorescence microscopy. The biocompatibility of MDC, MCNs, and MDC@MCNs was evaluated in three cell lines (NCM460, L02, and NIH3T3) and C57BL/6 mice. Dextran sulphate sodium was used to establish models of NCM460 cell injury and UC in mice. MTT assay, flow cytometry, and mitochondrial membrane potential assay were applied to determine the effects of MDC@MCNs on NCM460 cells injury. Additionally, a variety of biological methods such as H&E staining, TEM, ELISA, qPCR, Western blotting, and 16s rDNA sequencing were performed to explore the effects and underlying mechanism of MDC@MCN on UC in vivo. Colonic adhesion of MCNs was compared in normal and UC mice. The oral biodistributions of MDC and MDC@MCNs in the gastrointestinal tract of mice were also determined.Results: MDC@MCNs were successfully developed and exhibited excellent ability to resist destruction by trypsin and were taken up by NCM460 cells more readily than MDC. In vitro studies showed that MDC@MCNs better inhibited DSS-induced NCM460 cells damage with lower toxicity to L02 and NIH3T3 cells compared with MDC. In vivo results indicated that MDC@MCNs have good biocompatibility and significantly improved colonic injury in UC mice by effectively inhibiting inflammation and oxidative stress, maintaining colonic tight junctions, and regulating intestinal flora. Moreover, MDC@MCNs were strongly retained in the intestines, which was attributed to intestinal adhesion and aggregation of MCNs, serving as one of the important reasons for its enhanced efficacy after oral administration compared with MDC.Conclusion: MDC@MCNs alleviated DSS-induced UC by ameliorating colonic epithelial cells damage, inhibiting inflammation and oxidative stress, enhancing colonic tight junctions, and regulating intestinal flora. This colon-accumulating oral drug delivery nanoplatform may provide a novel and precise therapeutic strategy for UC.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Targeting miR-21 with NL101 blocks c-Myc/Mxd1 loop and inhibits the growth
           of B cell lymphoma

    • Authors: Shu Li; Xin He, Yichao Gan, Jiawei Zhang, Feiqiong Gao, Limin Lin, Xi Qiu, Teng Yu, Xuzhao Zhang, Panpan Chen, Jiefeng Tong, Wenbin Qian, Yang Xu
      Pages: 3439 - 3451
      Abstract: Background: NL101 has shown activities against multiple myeloma and acute myeloid leukemia, but its anti-lymphoma activity remains unknown. The transcription factor c-Myc is frequently dysregulated in aggressive B cell lymphomas such as double-hit lymphoma, for which the standard of care is still lacking. A novel approach to target c-Myc needs to be explored. Although the role of oncogenic microRNA-21 (miR-21) was well established in an inducible mice model of B cell lymphoma, whether targeting miR-21 could inhibit the growth of B cell lymphoma and its underlying mechanisms is unclear.Methods: We used MTT assay and flow cytometry to determine the inhibitory effect of NL101 on the cell proliferation of B cell lymphoma in vitro. The lymphoma xenograft mice models were generated to evaluate the anti-lymphoma function in vivo. Western blot and qPCR were applied to measure the expression levels of protein and microRNA, respectively. To investigate the mechanisms of action in NL101, we used genechip to profile differentially-expressed genes upon NL101 induction. Luciferase reporter system and chromatin immunoprecipitation were used for the validation of target gene or miRNA.Results: Nl101 significantly inhibited B cell lymphoma proliferation through induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. NL101 suppressed the growth of B cell lymphoma in vivo and prolonged the survival of lymphoma xenograft models. Gene expression profiling revealed that miR-21 was significantly decreased upon the induction of NL101 in B cell lymphoma. The miR-21 level was associated with the sensitivity of NL101. miR-21 inhibited Mxd1 expression via directly combining to Mxd1 3'-UTR; c-Myc activated miR-21 expression by directly binding to the miR-21 promoter.Conclusion: NL101 significantly inhibited the growth of B cell lymphoma in vitro and in vivo. The novel c-Myc/miR-21/Mxd1 positive-feedback loop is critical for the maintenance of B cell lymphoma survival. Targeting miR-21 to block c-Myc/miR-21/Mxd1 loop represents a novel potential strategy of c-Myc-directed therapy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Mutation of SPINOPHILIN (PPP1R9B) found in human tumors promotes the
           tumorigenic and stemness properties of cells

    • Authors: Eva M Verdugo-Sivianes; Ana M Rojas, Sandra Muñoz-Galván, Daniel Otero-Albiol, Amancio Carnero
      Pages: 3452 - 3471
      Abstract: Rationale: SPINOPHILIN (SPN, PPP1R9B) is an important tumor suppressor involved in the progression and malignancy of different tumors depending on its association with protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) and the ability of the PP1-SPN holoenzyme to dephosphorylate retinoblastoma (pRB).Methods: We performed a mutational analysis of SPN in human tumors, focusing on the region of interaction with PP1 and pRB. We explored the effect of the SPN-A566V mutation in an immortalized non-tumorigenic cell line of epithelial breast tissue, MCF10A, and in two different p53-mutated breast cancer cells lines, T47D and MDA-MB-468.Results: We characterized an oncogenic mutation of SPN found in human tumor samples, SPN-A566V, that affects both the SPN-PP1 interaction and its phosphatase activity. The SPN-A566V mutation does not affect the interaction of the PP1-SPN holoenzyme with pocket proteins pRB, p107 and p130, but it affects its ability to dephosphorylate them during G0/G1 and G1, indicating that the PP1-SPN holoenzyme regulates cell cycle progression. SPN-A566V also promoted stemness, establishing a connection between the cell cycle and stem cell biology via pocket proteins and PP1-SPN regulation. However, only cells with both SPN-A566V and mutant p53 have increased tumorigenic and stemness properties.Conclusions: SPN-A566V, or other equivalent mutations, could be late events that promote tumor progression by increasing the CSC pool and, eventually, the malignant behavior of the tumor.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Overall survival of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is doubled by Aldh7a1
           deletion in the KPC mouse

    • Authors: Jae-Seon Lee; Ho Lee, Sang Myung Woo, Hyonchol Jang, Yoon Jeon, Hee Yeon Kim, Jaewhan Song, Woo Jin Lee, Eun Kyung Hong, Sang-Jae Park, Sung-Sik Han, Soo-Youl Kim
      Pages: 3472 - 3488
      Abstract: Rationale: The activity of aldehyde dehydrogenase 7A1 (ALDH7A1), an enzyme that catalyzes the lipid peroxidation of fatty aldehydes was found to be upregulated in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). ALDH7A1 knockdown significantly reduced tumor formation in PDAC. We raised a question how ALDH7A1 contributes to cancer progression.Methods: To answer the question, the role of ALDH7A1 in energy metabolism was investigated by knocking down and knockdown gene in mouse model, because the role of ALDH7A1 has been reported as a catabolic enzyme catalyzing fatty aldehyde from lipid peroxidation to fatty acid. Oxygen consumption rate (OCR), ATP production, mitochondrial membrane potential, proliferation assay and immunoblotting were performed. In in vivo study, two human PDAC cell lines were used for pre-clinical xenograft model as well as spontaneous PDAC model of KPC mice was also employed for anti-cancer therapeutic effect.Results: ALDH7A1 knockdown significantly reduced tumor formation with reduction of OCR and ATP production, which was inversely correlated with increase of 4-hydroxynonenal. This implies that ALDH7A1 is critical to process fatty aldehydes from lipid peroxidation. Overall survival of PDAC is doubled by cross breeding of KPC (KrasG12D; Trp53R172H; Pdx1-Cre) and Aldh7a1-/- mice.Conclusion: Inhibitions of ALDH7A1 and oxidative phosphorylation using gossypol and phenformin resulted in a regression of tumor formation in xenograft mice model and KPC mice model.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Immunotherapy for targeting cancer stem cells in hepatocellular carcinoma

    • Authors: Xiaomeng Dai; Yixuan Guo, Yan Hu, Xuanwen Bao, Xudong Zhu, Qihan Fu, Hangyu Zhang, Zhou Tong, Lulu Liu, Yi Zheng, Peng Zhao, Weijia Fang
      Pages: 3489 - 3501
      Abstract: The rapid development and remarkable success of checkpoint inhibitors have provided significant breakthroughs in cancer treatment, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, only 15-20% of HCC patients can benefit from checkpoint inhibitors. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are responsible for recurrence, metastasis, and local and systemic therapy resistance in HCC. Accumulating evidence has suggested that HCC CSCs can create an immunosuppressive microenvironment through certain intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms, resulting in immune evasion. Intrinsic evasion mechanisms mainly include activation of immune-related CSC signaling pathways, low-level expression of antigen presenting molecules, and high-level expression of immunosuppressive molecules. External evasion mechanisms are mainly related to HBV/HCV infection, alcoholic/nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, hypoxia stimulation, abnormal angiogenesis, and crosstalk between CSCs and immune cells. A better understanding of the complex mechanisms of CSCs involved in immune evasion will contribute to therapies for HCC. Here we will outline the detailed mechanisms of immune evasion for CSCs, and provide an overview of the current immunotherapies targeting CSCs in HCC.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Cell membranes targeted unimolecular prodrug for programmatic
           photodynamic-chemo therapy

    • Authors: Jie Yuan; Rong Peng, Dongdong Su, Xingxing Zhang, Hepeng Zhao, Xiujuan Zhuang, Mei Chen, Xiaobing Zhang, Lin Yuan
      Pages: 3502 - 3511
      Abstract: Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has emerged as one of the most up-and-coming non-invasive therapeutic modalities for cancer therapy in rencent years. However, its therapeutic effect was still hampered by the short life span, limited diffusion distance and ineluctable depletion of singlet oxygen (1O2), as well as the hypoxic microenvironment in the tumor tissue. Such problems have limited the application of PDT and appropriate solutions are highly demand.Methods: Herein, a programmatic treatment strategy is proposed for the development of a smart molecular prodrug (D-bpy), which comprise a two-photon photosensitizer and a hypoxia-activated chemotherapeutic prodrug. A rhodamine dye was designed to connect them and track the drug release by the fluorescent signal generated through azo bond cleavage.Results: The prodrug (D-bpy) can stay on the cell membrane and enrich at the tumor site. Upon light irradiation, the therapeutic effect was enhanced by a stepwise treatment: (i) direct generation of 1O2 on the cell membrane induced membrane destruction and promoted the D-bpy uptake; (ii) deep tumor hypoxia caused by two-photon PDT process further triggered the activation of the chemotherapy prodrug. Both in vitro and in vivo experiments, D-bpy have exhabited excellent tumor treatment effect.Conclusion: The innovative programmatic treatment strategy provides new strategy for the design of follow-up anticancer drugs.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Ovarian hormones-autophagy-immunity axis in menstruation and endometriosis

    • Authors: Hui-Hui Shen; Tao Zhang, Hui-Li Yang, Zhen-Zhen Lai, Wen-Jie Zhou, Jie Mei, Jia-Wei Shi, Rui Zhu, Feng-Yuan Xu, Da-Jin Li, Jiang-Feng Ye, Ming-Qing Li
      Pages: 3512 - 3526
      Abstract: Menstruation occurs in few species and involves a cyclic process of proliferation, breakdown and regeneration under the control of ovarian hormones. Knowledge of normal endometrial physiology, as it pertains to the regulation of menstruation, is essential to understand disorders of menstruation. Accumulating evidence indicates that autophagy in the endometrium, under the regulation of ovarian hormones, can result in the infiltration of immune cells, which plays an indispensable role in the endometrium shedding, tissue repair and prevention of infections during menstruation. In addition, abnormal autophagy levels, together with resulting dysregulated immune system function, are associated with the pathogenesis and progression of endometriosis. Considering its potential value of autophagy as a target for the treatment of menstrual-related and endometrium-related disorders, we review the activity and function of autophagy during menstrual cycles. The role of the estrogen/progesterone-autophagy-immunity axis in endometriosis are also discussed.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • Abraxane-induced bone marrow CD11b+ myeloid cell depletion in
           tumor-bearing mice is visualized by μPET-CT with 64Cu-labeled anti-CD11b
           and prevented by anti-CSF-1

    • Authors: Qizhen Cao; Qian Huang, Y. Alan Wang, Chun Li
      Pages: 3527 - 3539
      Abstract: To investigate the utility of noninvasive µPET-CT with 64Cu-DOTA-anti-CD11b (64Cu-αCD11b) in assessing bone marrow status after anticancer therapies, and the protective role of anti-CSF-1 (αCSF-1) against bone marrow suppression induced by Abraxane.Methods: MDA-MB-435 tumor-bearing mice were treated with Abraxane, αCSF-1, or αCSF-1 plus Abraxane. µPET-CT and biodistribution of 64Cu-αCD11b were performed after intravenous injection of the radiotracer. Cells from mouse bone marrow and MDA-MB-435 tumor were analyzed by flow cytometry. A humanized αCSF-1 was investigated for its role in protecting bone marrow cells, using a transgenic mouse model that expresses functional human CSF-1.Results: μPET-CT showed that 64Cu-αCD11b had high uptake in the bone marrow and spleen of both normal and tumor-bearing mice. Abraxane significantly reduced 64Cu-αCD11b uptake in the bone marrow and spleen of treated mice compared to untreated mice. Interestingly, 64Cu-αCD11b μPET-CT revealed that αCSF-1 alleviated the depletion of bone marrow cells by Abraxane. These changes in the bone marrow population of CD11b+ myeloid cells were confirmed by flow cytometry. Moreover, αCSF-1 potently enhanced tolerance of bone marrow granulocytic myeloid cells to Abraxane, decreased cell migration, and suppressed recruitment of myeloid cells to the tumor microenvironment. The humanized αCSF-1 also alleviated the effects of Abraxane on bone marrow cells in transgenic mice expressing human CSF-1, suggesting clinical relevance of αCSF-1 in prevention of bone marrow suppression in addition to its role in reducing tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells.Conclusions: Abraxane-induced bone marrow CD11b+ myeloid cell depletion in tumor-bearing mice could be noninvasively assessed by μPET-CT with 64Cu-αCD11b and prevented by αCSF-1.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2021)
       
  • In vivo detection of teriflunomide-derived fluorine signal during
           neuroinflammation using fluorine MR spectroscopy

    • Authors: Christian Prinz; Ludger Starke, Jason M. Millward, Ariane Fillmer, Paula Ramos Delgado, Helmar Waiczies, Andreas Pohlmann, Michael Rothe, Marc Nazaré, Friedemann Paul, Thoralf Niendorf, Sonia Waiczies
      Pages: 2490 - 2504
      Abstract: Background: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is indispensable for diagnosing neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS). MRI also supports decisions regarding the choice of disease-modifying drugs (DMDs). Determining in vivo tissue concentrations of DMDs has the potential to become an essential clinical tool for therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM). The aim here was to examine the feasibility of fluorine-19 (19F) MR methods to detect the fluorinated DMD teriflunomide (TF) during normal and pathological conditions.Methods: We used 19F MR spectroscopy to detect TF in the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS) in vivo. Prior to the in vivo investigations we characterized the MR properties of TF in vitro. We studied the impact of pH and protein binding as well as MR contrast agents.Results: We could detect TF in vivo and could follow the 19F MR signal over different time points of disease. We quantified TF concentrations in different tissues using HPLC/MS and showed a significant correlation between ex vivo TF levels in serum and the ex vivo 19F MR signal.Conclusion: This study demonstrates the feasibility of 19F MR methods to detect TF during neuroinflammation in vivo. It also highlights the need for further technological developments in this field. The ultimate goal is to add 19F MR protocols to conventional 1H MRI protocols in clinical practice to guide therapy decisions.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • DRD1 downregulation contributes to mechanical stretch-induced lung
           endothelial barrier dysfunction

    • Authors: Yan Wang; Yu-Jian Liu, Dun-Feng Xu, Hui Zhang, Chu-Fan Xu, Yan-Fei Mao, Zhou Lv, Xiao-Yan Zhu, Lai Jiang
      Pages: 2505 - 2521
      Abstract: Rationale: The lung-protective effects of dopamine and its role in the pathology of ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI) are emerging. However, the underlying mechanisms are still largely unknown.Objective: To investigate the contribution of dopamine receptor dysregulation in the pathogenesis of VILI and therapeutic potential of dopamine D1 receptor (DRD1) agonist in VILI.Methods: The role of dopamine receptors in mechanical stretch-induced endothelial barrier dysfunction and lung injury was studied in DRD1 knockout mice, in isolated mouse lung vascular endothelial cells (MLVECs), and in lung samples from patients who underwent pulmonary lobectomy with mechanical ventilation for different time periods.Measurements and Main Results: DRD1 was downregulated in both surgical patients and mice exposed to mechanical ventilation. Prophylactic administration of dopamine or DRD1 agonist attenuated mechanical stretch-induced lung endothelial barrier dysfunction and lung injury. By contrast, pulmonary knockdown or global knockout of DRD1 exacerbated these effects. Prophylactic administration of dopamine attenuated mechanical stretch-induced α-tubulin deacetylation and subsequent endothelial hyperpermeability through DRD1 signaling. We identified that cyclic stretch-induced glycogen-synthase-kinase-3β activation led to phosphorylation and activation of histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6), which resulted in deacetylation of α-tubulin. Upon activation, DRD1 signaling attenuated mechanical stretch-induced α-tubulin deacetylation and subsequent lung endothelial barrier dysfunction through cAMP/exchange protein activated by cAMP (EPAC)-mediated inactivation of HDAC6.Conclusions: This work identifies a novel protective role for DRD1 against mechanical stretch-induced lung endothelial barrier dysfunction and lung injury. Further study of the mechanisms involving DRD1 in the regulation of microtubule stability and interference with DRD1/cAMP/EPAC/HDAC6 signaling may provide insight into therapeutic approaches for VILI.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Neutrophils infiltrate into the spiral ligament but not the stria
           vascularis in the cochlea during lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation

    • Authors: Seong Hoon Bae; Jee Eun Yoo, Young Ho Choe, Sang Hyun Kwak, Jae Young Choi, Jinsei Jung, Young-Min Hyun
      Pages: 2522 - 2533
      Abstract: It has been challenging to apply intravital imaging for monitoring the inner ear, as the anatomical location and intricate structure hamper the access of imaging instruments to the inner ear of live mice. By employing intravital imaging of the cochlea in live mice with two-photon microscopy, we investigated neutrophil infiltration into the cochlea tissue and its characteristics under a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory state.Methods: Cochlea inflammation was induced by LPS injection to the middle ear. Using two-photon intravital microscopy with specifically designed surgical exteriorization of the cochlea in live mice, we investigated the dynamic features of neutrophils in the lateral wall of the cochlea. The molecular expression pattern of the cochlea lateral wall was also investigated during the LPS-induce inflammation.Results: Despite the contention of whether neutrophils are recruited to the spiral ligament (SL) during inflammation, we observed that LPS-induced inflammation of the middle ear, which mimics acute otitis media, triggered neutrophil migration to the SL in the lateral wall. Notably, massive neutrophil infiltration to the SL occurred 2 days after LPS inoculation, but there was no neutrophil infiltration into the stria vascularis (SV) region. At 1 day after LPS-induced cochlear inflammation, increased mRNA expression of interleukin-1β, interleukin-6 were identified in both the SL and SV, while the ICAM-1 mRNA expression increased only in the SL. The differential reactivity of ICAM-1 is likely responsible for the different neutrophil recruitment pattern in the cochlea.Conclusion: Intravital imaging of the cochlea revealed that neutrophil recruitment and infiltration during inflammation are spatially controlled and exclusively observed in the SL but not in the SV and organ of Corti.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Structurally symmetric near-infrared fluorophore IRDye78-protein complex
           enables multimodal cancer imaging

    • Authors: Jiang Yang; Chunhua Zhao, Jacky Lim, Lina Zhao, Ryan Le Tourneau, Qize Zhang, Damien Dobson, Suhasini Joshi, Jiadong Pang, Xiaodong Zhang, Suchetan Pal, Chrysafis Andreou, Hanwen Zhang, Moritz F. Kircher, Hans Schmitthenner
      Pages: 2534 - 2549
      Abstract: Rationale: Most contemporary cancer therapeutic paradigms involve initial imaging as a treatment roadmap, followed by the active engagement of surgical operations. Current approved intraoperative contrast agents exemplified by indocyanine green (ICG) have a few drawbacks including the inability of pre-surgical localization. Alternative near-infrared (NIR) dyes including IRDye800cw are being explored in advanced clinical trials but often encounter low chemical yields and complex purifications owing to the asymmetric synthesis. A single contrast agent with ease of synthesis that works in multiple cancer types and simultaneously allows presurgical imaging, intraoperative deep-tissue three-dimensional visualization, and high-speed microscopic visualization of tumor margins via spatiotemporally complementary modalities would be beneficial.Methods: Due to the lack of commercial availability and the absence of detailed synthesis and characterization, we proposed a facile and scalable synthesis pathway for the symmetric NIR water-soluble heptamethine sulfoindocyanine IRDye78. The synthesis can be accomplished in four steps from commercially-available building blocks. Its symmetric resonant structure avoided asymmetric synthesis problems while still preserving the benefits of analogous IRDye800cw with commensurable optical properties. Next, we introduced a low-molecular-weight protein alpha-lactalbumin (α-LA) as the carrier that effectively modulates the hepatic clearance of IRDye78 into the preferred renal excretion pathway. We further implemented 89Zr radiolabeling onto the protein scaffold for positron emission tomography (PET). The multimodal imaging capability of the fluorophore-protein complex was validated in breast cancer and glioblastoma.Results: The scalable synthesis resulted in high chemical yields, typically 95% yield in the final step of the chloro dye. Chemical structures of intermediates and the final fluorophore were confirmed. Asymmetric IRDye78 exhibited comparable optical features as symmetric IRDye800cw. Its well-balanced quantum yield affords concurrent dual fluorescence and optoacoustic contrast without self-quenching nor concentration-dependent absorption. The NHS ester functionality modulates efficient covalent coupling to reactive side-chain amines to the protein carrier, along with desferrioxamine (DFO) for stable radiolabeling of 89Zr. The fluorophore-protein complex advantageously shifted the biodistribution and can be effectively cleared through the urinary pathway. The agent accumulates in tumors and enables triple-modal visualization in mouse xenograft models of both breast and brain cancers.Conclusion: This study described in detail a generalized strategic modulation of clearance routes towards the favorable renal clearance, via the introduction of α-LA. IRDye78 as a feasible alternative of IRDye800cw currently in clinical phases was proposed with a facile synthesis and fully characterized for the first time. This fluorophore-protein complex with stable radiolabeling should have great potential for clinical translation where it could enable an elegant workflow from preoperative planning to intraoperative deep tissue and high-resolution image-guided resection.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • A bifunctional molecule-based strategy for the development of theranostic
           antibody-drug conjugate

    • Authors: Dian Xiao; Lei Zhao, Fei Xie, Shiyong Fan, Lianqi Liu, Wei Li, Ruiyuan Cao, Song Li, Wu Zhong, Xinbo Zhou
      Pages: 2550 - 2563
      Abstract: Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are being developed worldwide with the potential to revolutionize current cancer treatment strategies. Developing novel theranostic ADCs with therapeutic utility and imaging capability is an attractive and challenging subject that promises advances in the field of personalized medicine. In this work, we propose a bifunctional molecule-based strategy for the development of theranostic ADCs.Methods: We developed a theranostic ADC consisting of the anti-Her2 antibody Mil40, monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE) as the active payload, and a 7-amino-3-hydroxyethyl-coumarin (7-AHC)-based dipeptide linker, which functions as a novel bifunctional fluorescence probe that allows self-elimination cleavage in the presence of cathepsin B for payload release and fluorophore activation. The on-off fluorescence properties and the antitumor effect in vitro and in vivo were investigated.Results: A 48-fold fluorescence enhancement was observed within 1 h when the 7-AHC-based linker was exposed to cathepsin B. Cleavage upon exposure to cathepsin B allows MMAE and fluorophore intracellular release and the monitoring of MMAE distribution using confocal microscopy. Additionally, the newly developed ADC retains the advantages of traditional p-aminobenzyloxycarbonyl-containing ADCs, such as good stability (t1/2 > 7 days) and high activity in vitro (IC50 = 0.09-3.74 nM). Importantly, the theranostic ADC exhibited the equivalent antitumor efficacy to the marketed ADC T-DM1 in the classic breast cancer model.Conclusion: We suggest that the present strategy can be universally applied in all p-aminobenzyloxycarbonyl-containing ADCs. Overall, theranostic ADCs may play a role in developing new theranostic systems and promoting personalized medicine research.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • IL20RA signaling enhances stemness and promotes the formation of an
           immunosuppressive microenvironment in breast cancer

    • Authors: Wenjuan Gao; Huiping Wen, Luyu Liang, Xiaoli Dong, Renle Du, Wei Zhou, Xuehui Zhang, Chunze Zhang, Rong Xiang, Na Li
      Pages: 2564 - 2580
      Abstract: Rationale: Tumor microenvironment interacts with tumor cells to regulate their stemness properties through various cytokines and cytokine receptors. Previous studies revealed the possible role of interleukin 20 receptor subunit alpha (IL20RA) signaling in the progression of several types of tumors. However, its regulatory effects on the stemness and the microenvironment of breast cancer need to be studied.Methods: Immunohistochemical staining and western blot analysis were used to evaluate the association between IL20RA and SOX2 in breast tumors and noncancerous tissues. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and TCGA dataset analysis were performed to determine the function of IL20RA signaling in breast cancer progression. Gain- and loss-of-function methods were performed to examine the effects of IL20RA on the stemness of breast cancer cells. The stemness features were analyzed by detecting the expression of core stemness genes, side population (SP), sphere formation ability, and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity. Flow cytometric analysis was applied to detect the changes of tumor-infiltration lymphocytes in tumor tissues in mice. Based on the relevant molecular mechanisms elucidated in this study, a novel IL20RA-targeted liposomal nanoparticle encapsulating the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) inhibitor stattic (NP-Stattic-IL20RA) was synthesized. These NPs were combined with anti-programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) antibody and chemotherapy to inhibit the development of breast tumors in mice.Results: IL20RA is highly expressed in human breast cancers and is positively associated with the SOX2 expression. IL20RA increases the SP and ALDHbr proportions of breast cancer cells, enhances the sphere formation ability, and promotes the expression of core stemness genes, such as Sox2 and Oct4, as well as increases chemoresistance of breast cancer cells. IL20RA promotes the tumor-initiating ability and lung metastasis of breast cancer cells in vivo. In addition, IL20RA activates the Janus kinase 1 (JAK1)-STAT3-SOX2 signaling pathway, leading to increased expression of PD-L1 and reduced recruitment of anti-cancer lymphocytes, including CD8+ T cells and natural killer cells. Meanwhile, IL20RA signaling enhances the proportion of myeloid-derived suppressor cells. Combined with anti-PD-L1 antibody and NPs-Stattic-IL20RA, the chemotherapeutic efficacy was increased in breast cancer mouse models in vivo.Conclusion: Collectively, our results reveal that the IL20RA pathway is a novel signaling pathway involved in promoting the stemness features of breast cancer along with the formation of a tumor-favorable immune microenvironment. Targeting the IL20RAhi population with STAT3 signaling inhibition combined with anti-PD-L1 antibody can increase the therapeutic efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents for breast cancer. This study thus introduces a promising novel strategy for breast cancer therapy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • N6-methyladenosine as a biological and clinical determinant in colorectal
           cancer: progression and future direction

    • Authors: Jinming Li; Lei Liang, Yongzhi Yang, Xinxiang Li, Yanlei Ma
      Pages: 2581 - 2593
      Abstract: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most prevalent cancers and one of the leading causes of cancer death. Recent studies have provided evidence that N6-methyladenosine (m6A), the most abundant RNA modifications in eukaryote, performs many functions in RNA metabolism including translation, splicing, storage, trafficking and degradation. Aberrant regulation of m6A modification in mRNAs and noncoding RNAs found in CRC tissues is crucial for cancer formation, progression, invasion and metastasis. Further, m6A regulators and m6A-related RNAs may become promising biomarkers, prognosis predictors as well as therapeutic targets. Here, we review the biological and clinical roles of m6A modification in CRC, and discuss the potential of m6A in clinical translation.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Group 2 innate lymphoid cells contribute to IL-33-mediated alleviation of
           cardiac fibrosis

    • Authors: Wei-Yu Chen; Yi-Hsiu Wu, Tzu-Hsien Tsai, Ru-Fang Li, Alan Chuan-Ying Lai, Lung-Chih Li, Jenq-Lin Yang, Ya-Jen Chang
      Pages: 2594 - 2611
      Abstract: Rationale: The major cause of heart failure is myocardium death consequent to detrimental cardiac remodeling and fibrosis following myocardial infarction. The cardiac protective cytokine interleukin (IL)-33, which signals by ST2 receptor binding, is associated with group 2 innate lymphoid cell (ILC2) activation and regulates tissue homeostasis and repair following tissue injury in various tissues. However, the distribution and role of IL-33-responsive ILC2s in cardiac fibrosis remain unclear. In this study, we elucidated the roles of IL-33-responsive cardiac-resident ILC2s and IL-33-mediated immunomodulatory functions in cardiac fibrosis.Methods: We examined the distribution of cardiac ILC2s by using flow cytometry. The roles of IL-33-mediated ILC2 expansion in cardiac fibrosis was evaluated in the mouse model of catecholamine-induced cardiac fibrosis. ILC-deficient Rag2‒/‒IL2Rγc‒/‒ mice were implemented to determine the contribution of endogenous ILC in the progression of cardiac fibrosis. Histopathological assessments, speckle tracking echocardiography, and transcriptome profile analysis were performed to determine the effects of IL-33-mediated cardiac protective functions.Results: We identified the resident cardiac ILC2s, which share similar cell surface marker and transcriptional factor expression characteristics as peripheral blood and lung tissue ILC2s. IL-33 treatment induced ILC2 expansion via ST2. In vivo, ILC-deficient Rag2‒/‒IL2Rγc‒/‒ mice developed exacerbated cardiac fibrosis following catecholamine-induced stress cardiac injury. IL-33 treatment expanded cardiac ILC2s and revealed protective effects against cardiac tissue damage with reduced cardiomyocyte death, immune cell infiltration, tissue fibrosis, and improved myocardial function. Transcriptome analysis revealed that IL-33 attenuated extracellular matrix synthesis- and fibroblast activation-associated gene expressions. IL13-knockout or epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibition abolished IL-33-mediated cardiac protective function, confirming IL-13 and EGFR signaling as crucial for IL-33-mediated cardioprotective responses. Moreover, ILC2-produced BMP-7 served as a novel anti-fibrotic factor to inhibit TGF-β1-induced cardiac fibroblast activation.Conclusion: Our findings indicate the presence of IL-33-responsive ILC2s in cardiac tissue and that IL-33-mediated ILC2 expansion affords optimal cardioprotective function via ILC2-derived factors. IL-33-mediated immunomodulation is thus a promising strategy to promote tissue repair and alleviate cardiac fibrosis following acute cardiac injury.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • CXCL12-mediated HOXB5 overexpression facilitates Colorectal Cancer
           metastasis through transactivating CXCR4 and ITGB3

    • Authors: Weibo Feng; Wenjie Huang, Jie Chen, Chenyang Qiao, Danfei Liu, Xiaoyu Ji, Meng Xie, Tongyue Zhang, Yijun Wang, Mengyu Sun, Dean Tian, Daiming Fan, Yongzhan Nie, Kaichun Wu, Limin Xia
      Pages: 2612 - 2633
      Abstract: Background: Metastasis is the major reason for the high mortality of colorectal cancer (CRC). However, the molecular mechanism underlying CRC metastasis remains unclear. Here, we report a novel role of homeobox B5 (HOXB5), a member of the HOX family, in promoting CRC metastasis.Method: The expression of HOXB5 and its target genes were examined by immunohistochemistry in human CRC. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and luciferase reporter assays were performed to measure the transcriptional regulation of target genes by HOXB5. The metastatic capacities of CRC cells were evaluated by in vivo lung and liver metastatic models.Results: The elevated expression of HOXB5 was positively correlated with distant metastasis, higher AJCC stage, and poor prognosis in CRC patients. HOXB5 expression was an independent and significant risk factor for the recurrence and survival in CRC patients. Overexpression of HOXB5 promoted CRC metastasis by transactivating metastatic related genes, C-X-C motif chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) and integrin subunit beta 3 (ITGB3). C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 12 (CXCL12), which is the ligand of CXCR4, upregulated HOXB5 expression through the extracellular regulated protein kinase (ERK)/ETS proto-oncogene 1, transcription factor (ETS1) pathway. The knockdown of HOXB5 decreased CXCL12-enhanced CRC metastasis. Furthermore, AMD3100, a specific CXCR4 inhibitor, significantly suppressed HOXB5-mediated CRC metastasis. HOXB5 expression was positively correlated with CXCR4 and ITGB3 expression in human CRC tissues, and patients with positive co-expression of HOXB5/CXCR4, or HOXB5/ITGB3 exhibited the worst prognosis.Conclusion: Our study implicates HOXB5 as a prognostic biomarker in CRC, and defines a CXCL12-HOXB5-CXCR4 positive feedback loop that plays an important role in promoting CRC metastasis.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Encapsulation of LXR ligand by D-Nap-GFFY hydrogel enhances
           anti-tumorigenic actions of LXR and removes LXR-induced lipogenesis

    • Authors: Ke Feng; Chuanrui Ma, Yuxin Liu, Xiaoxiao Yang, Zhimou Yang, Yaoxia Chen, Tengyan Xu, Chengbiao Yang, Shuang Zhang, Qi Li, Zhuo Wei, Dan Zhao, Peng Zeng, Jihong Han, Jie Gao, Yuanli Chen, Yajun Duan
      Pages: 2634 - 2654
      Abstract: Background and purpose: Activation of liver X receptor (LXR) by its ligand T0901317 (T317) enhances interferon-γ (IFNγ) production to inhibit tumor growth. However, induction of severe hypertriglyceridemia and fatty liver by T317 limits its application. The naphthylacetic acid modified D-enantiomeric-glycine-phenylalanine-phenylalanine-tyrosine (D-Nap-GFFY) can form a nanofiber hydrogel which is selectively taken up by antigen-presenting cells (APCs). In this study, we determined if D-Nap-GFFY-encapsulated T317 (D-Nap-GFFY-T317) can potently inhibit tumor growth while having no adverse lipogenic effects on the liver.Methods: We prepared D-Nap-GFFY-T317 nanofiber hydrogel and subcutaneously injected it into IFNγ deficient (IFNγ-/-) and wild-type (WT) mice with lung carcinoma, either inoculated LLC1 cells or urethane-induced carcinoma. Mice received oral T317 administration were used for comparison. Effects of treatment on tumor growth, lipogenesis and involved mechanisms were investigated.Results: Compared with T317 oral administration, injection of D-Nap-GFFY-T317 more potently inhibited LLC1 tumor growth in mice. The inhibition was dependent on LXR-activated IFNγ expression in APCs. D-Nap-GFFY-T317 increased M1 while reducing M2 type macrophages in tumors. Associated with activation of IFNγ expression, D-Nap-GFFY-T317 enhanced dendritic cell maturation and infiltration into tumors, increased CD3+/CD8+ cells in tumors, and inhibited tumor angiogenesis. Similarly, D-Nap-GFFY-T317 more potently inhibited growth of urethane-induced lung carcinomas than T317 oral administration. In these two tumor models, T317 oral administration, but not D-Nap-GFFY-T317 injection, activated hepatic lipogenesis and induced fatty liver.Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that D-Nap-GFFY-T317 inhibits lung tumor growth without adverse effects on the liver, indicating the hydrogel-encapsulated LXR ligand might be a novel therapy for tumor treatment.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Blockade of deubiquitinating enzyme PSMD14 overcomes chemoresistance in
           head and neck squamous cell carcinoma by antagonizing
           E2F1/Akt/SOX2-mediated stemness

    • Authors: Chao Jing; Yuansheng Duan, Mengqian Zhou, Kai Yue, Shanshan Zhuo, Xingchen Li, Dandan Liu, Beibei Ye, Qingchuan Lai, Linqi Li, Xiaofeng Yao, Hui Wei, Wenchao Zhang, Yansheng Wu, Xudong Wang
      Pages: 2655 - 2669
      Abstract: Increasing evidence reveals a close relationship between deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) and cancer progression. In this study, we attempted to identify the roles and mechanisms of critical DUBs in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).Methods: Bioinformatics analysis was performed to screen differentially expressed novel DUBs in HNSCC. Immunohistochemistry assay was used to measure the expression of DUB PSMD14 in HNSCC specimens and adjacent normal tissues. The level of PSMD14 in HNSCC tumorigenesis was investigated using a 4-NQO-induced murine HNSCC model. The function of PSMD14 was determined through loss-of-function assays. Chromatin immunoprecipitation, immunoprecipitation and in vivo ubiquitination assay were conducted to explore the potential mechanism of PSMD14. The anti-tumor activity of PSMD14 inhibitor Thiolutin was assessed by in vitro and in vivo experiments.Results: We identified PSMD14 as one of significantly upregulated DUBs in HNSCC tissues. Aberrant expression of PSMD14 was associated with tumorigenesis and malignant progression of HNSCC and further indicated poor prognosis. The results of in vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated PSMD14 depletion significantly undermined HNSCC growth, chemoresistance and stemness. Mechanically, PSMD14 inhibited the ubiquitination and degradation of E2F1 to improve the activation of Akt pathway and the transcription of SOX2. Furthermore, PSMD14 inhibitor Thiolutin exhibited a potent anti-tumor effect on HNSCC in vivo and in vitro by impairing DUB activity of PSMD14.Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate the role and mechanism of PSMD14 in HNSCC, and provide a novel and promising target for diagnosis and clinical therapy of HNSCC.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Visualized podocyte-targeting and focused ultrasound responsive
           glucocorticoid nano-delivery system against immune-associated nephropathy
           without glucocorticoid side effect

    • Authors: Kui Fan; Li Zeng, Jing Guo, Shuqin Xie, Yuan Yu, Jianwei Chen, Jin Cao, Qinyanqiu Xiang, Siliang Zhang, Yuanli Luo, Qingyue Deng, Qin Zhou, Yan Zhao, Lan Hao, Zhigang Wang, Ling Zhong
      Pages: 2670 - 2690
      Abstract: Glucocorticoids are widely used in the treatment of nephritis, however, its dose-dependent side effects, such as the increased risk of infection and metabolic disturbances, hamper its clinical use. This study reports a visualized podocyte-targeting and focused ultrasound responsive glucocorticoid nano-delivery system (named as Dex/PFP@LIPs-BMS-α), which specific delivers dexamethasone (Dex) to podocyte targets and reduces systemic side effects.Methods: The glucocorticoid nano-delivery system was synthesized by a lipid thin film and a simple facile acoustic-emulsification method. This glucocorticoid nano-delivery system used BMS-470539 (BMS-α), a synthetic compound, as a “navigator” to specifically identify and target the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC-1R) on podocytes. The loaded perfluoropentane (PFP) realizes the directed "explosion effect" through ultrasound-targeted microbubble destruction (UTMD) technology under the coordination of low intensity focused ultrasound (LIFU) to completely release Dex.Results: Both in vitro and in vivo experiments have demonstrated that Dex/PFP@LIPs-BMs-α accurately gathered to podocyte targets and improved podocyte morphology. Moreover, in vivo, proteinuria and serum creatinine levels were significantly reduced in the group treated with Dex/PFP@LIPs-BMS-α, and no severe side effects were detected. Furthermore, Dex/PFP@LIPs-BMS-α, with capabilities of ultrasound, photoacoustic and fluorescence imaging, provided individualized visual guidance and the monitoring of treatment.Conclusion: This study provides a promising strategy of Dex/PFP@LIPs-BMS-α as effective and safe against immune-associated nephropathy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • KDM6A promotes imatinib resistance through YY1-mediated transcriptional
           upregulation of TRKA independently of its demethylase activity in chronic
           myelogenous leukemia

    • Authors: Chengwan Zhang; Li Shen, Yifu Zhu, Ran Xu, Zhikui Deng, Xiaoning Liu, Yihan Ding, Chunling Wang, Yuye Shi, Liye Bei, Dongping Wei, Rick F. Thorne, Xu Dong Zhang, Liang Yu, Song Chen
      Pages: 2691 - 2705
      Abstract: Rationale: Despite landmark therapy of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), drug resistance remains problematic. Cancer pathogenesis involves epigenetic dysregulation and in particular, histone lysine demethylases (KDMs) have been implicated in TKI resistance. We sought to identify KDMs with altered expression in CML and define their contribution to imatinib resistance.Methods: Bioinformatics screening compared KDM expression in CML versus normal bone marrow with shRNA knockdown and flow cytometry used to measure effects on imatinib-induced apoptosis in K562 cells. Transcriptomic analyses were performed against KDM6A CRISPR knockout/shRNA knockdown K562 cells along with gene rescue experiments using wildtype and mutant demethylase-dead KDM6A constructs. Co-immunoprecipitation, luciferase reporter and ChIP were employed to elucidate mechanisms of KDM6A-dependent resistance.Results: Amongst five KDMs upregulated in CML, only KDM6A depletion sensitized CML cells to imatinib-induced apoptosis. Re-introduction of demethylase-dead KDM6A as well as wild-type KDM6A restored imatinib resistance. RNA-seq identified NTRK1 gene downregulation after depletion of KDM6A. Moreover, NTRK1 expression positively correlated with KDM6A in a subset of clinical CML samples and KDM6A knockdown in fresh CML isolates decreased NTRK1 encoded protein (TRKA) expression. Mechanistically, KDM6A was recruited to the NTRK1 promoter by the transcription factor YY1 with subsequent TRKA upregulation activating down-stream survival pathways to invoke imatinib resistance.Conclusion: Contrary to its reported role as a tumor suppressor and independent of its demethylase function, KDM6A promotes imatinib-resistance in CML cells. The identification of the KDM6A/YY1/TRKA axis as a novel imatinib-resistance mechanism represents an unexplored avenue to overcome TKI resistance in CML.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Histone demethylase JMJD3 protects against renal fibrosis by suppressing
           TGFβ and Notch signaling and preserving PTEN expression

    • Authors: Chao Yu; Chongxiang Xiong, Jinhua Tang, Xiying Hou, Na Liu, George Bayliss, Shougang Zhuang
      Pages: 2706 - 2721
      Abstract: Rationale: The Jumonji domain containing-3 (JMJD3), a specific histone demethylase for trimethylation on histone H3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3), is associated with the pathogenesis of many diseases, but its role in renal fibrosis remains unexplored. Here we examined the role of JMJD3 and mechanisms involved in the activation of renal fibroblasts and development of renal fibrosis.Methods: Murine models of 5/6 surgical nephrectomy (SNx) and ureteral unilateral obstruction (UUO) were used to assess the effect of a specific JMJD3 inhibitor, GSKJ4, and genetic deletion of JMJD3 from FOXD1 stroma-derived renal interstitial cells on the development of renal fibrosis and activation of renal interstitial fibroblasts. Cultured rat renal interstitial fibroblasts (NRK-49F) and mouse renal tubular epithelial cells (mTECs) were also used to examine JMJD3-mediated activation of profibrotic signaling.Results: JMJD3 and H3K27me3 expression levels were upregulated in the kidney of mice subjected to SNx 5/6 and UUO. Pharmacological inhibition of JMJD3 with GSKJ4 or genetic deletion of JMJD3 led to worsening of renal dysfunction as well as increased deposition of extracellular matrix proteins and activation of renal interstitial fibroblasts in the injured kidney. This was coincident with decreased expression of Smad7 and enhanced expression of H3K27me3, transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1), Smad3, Notch1, Notch3 and Jagged1. Inhibition of JMJD3 by GSK J4 or its specific siRNA also resulted in the similar responses in cultured NRK-49F and mTECs exposed to serum or TGFβ1. Moreover, JMJD3 inhibition augmented phosphorylation of AKT and ERK1/2 in vivo and in vitro.Conclusion: These results indicate that JMJD3 confers anti-fibrotic effects by limiting activation of multiple profibrotic signaling pathways and suggest that JMJD3 modulation may have therapeutic effects for chronic kidney disease.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Significance of serglycin and its binding partners in autocrine promotion
           of metastasis in esophageal cancer

    • Authors: Yun Zhu; Alfred K.Y. Lam, Daisy K.Y. Shum, Di Cui, Jun Zhang, Dong Dong Yan, Bin Li, Wen Wen Xu, Nikki P.Y. Lee, Kin Tak Chan, Simon Law, Sai Wah Tsao, Annie L.M. Cheung
      Pages: 2722 - 2741
      Abstract: Rationale: Little is known about the roles of proteoglycans in esophageal cancer. This study aims to investigate the roles and mechanisms of serglycin (SRGN) proteoglycan in promoting metastasis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).Methods: Reverse phase protein array analysis was used to identify activated signaling pathways in SRGN-overexpressing cells. Chemokine array was used to identify differentially secreted factors from SRGN-overexpressing cells. Binding between SRGN and potential interacting partners was evaluated using proximity ligation assay and co-immunoprecipitation. The glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains of SRGN were characterized using fluorophore-assisted carbohydrate electrophoresis. Tissue microarray and serum samples were used to determine the correlation of SRGN expression with clinicopathological parameters and patient survival.Results: In vitro and in vivo experiments showed that SRGN promoted invasion and metastasis in ESCC via activating ERK pathway, stabilizing c-Myc and upregulating the secretion of matrix metalloproteinases. SRGN-knockdown suppressed tumorigenic hallmarks. These SRGN-elicited functions were carried out in an autocrine manner by inducing the secretion of midkine (MDK), which was further identified as a novel binding partner of SRGN for the formation of a SRGN/MDK/CD44 complex. In addition, SRGN interacted with MDK and matrix metalloproteinase 2 in ESCC via its GAG chains, which were mainly decorated with chondroitin sulfate comprising of ∆di-4S and ∆di-6S CS. Clinically, high expression of serum SRGN in serum of patients with ESCC was an independent prognostic marker for poor survival.Conclusions: This study provides the first evidence that elevated serum SRGN has prognostic significance in patients with ESCC, and sheds light on the molecular mechanism by which elevated circulating SRGN in cancer patients might promote cancer progression.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Activation of EP4 receptor limits transition of acute to chronic heart
           failure in lipoxygenase deficient mice

    • Authors: Vasundhara Kain; Kevin A. Ingle, Namakkal S. Rajasekaran, Ganesh V. Halade
      Pages: 2742 - 2754
      Abstract: Aim: Immune responsive 12/15 lipoxygenase (12/15LOX)-orchestrate biosynthesis of essential inflammation-resolution mediators during acute inflammatory response in post-myocardial infarction (MI). Lack of 12/15LOX dampens proinflammatory mediator 12-(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (12-(S)-HETE), improves post-MI survival, through the biosynthesis of endogenous mediators epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs; cypoxins) to resolve post-MI inflammation. However, the mechanism that amplifies cypoxins-directed cardiac repair in acute heart failure (AHF) and chronic HF (CHF) remains of interest in MI-directed renal inflammation. Therefore, we determined the role of EETs in macrophage-specific receptor activation in facilitating cardiac repair in 12/15LOX deficient mice experiencing HF.Methods and Results: Risk-free young adult (8 -12 week-old) male C57BL/6J wild-type mice (WT; n = 43) and 12/15LOX-/- mice (n = 31) were subjected to permanent coronary artery ligation and monitored at day (d)1, d5 (as acute HF), and d28 to d56 (8 weeks; chronic HF) post-surgery maintaining no-MI mice that served as d0 naïve controls. Left ventricle (LV) infarcted area of 12/15LOX-/- mice displayed an increase in expression of prostanoid receptor EP4 along with monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 CCL2 in AHF and CHF. The transcriptome analysis of isolated leukocytes (macrophages/neutrophils) from infarcted LV revealed a higher expression of EP4 on reparative macrophages expressing MRC-1 in 12/15LOX-/- mice. Deletion of 12/15LOX differentially modulated the miRNA levels, downregulating miR-23a-3p (~20 fold; p < 0.05) and upregulating miR-125a-5p (~160 fold; p < 0.05) in AHF which promoted polarization of the macrophages towards reparative phenotype. Furthermore, 12/15LOX deletion markedly attenuated renal inflammation with reduced levels of NGAL and KIM-1 and apoptotic markers in the kidney during CHF.Conclusion: In risk-free mice during physiological cardiac repair, absence of 12/15LOX promoted reparative macrophages with marked activation of EP4 signaling thereby improving post-MI survival and limiting renal inflammation in acute and advanced HF. The future studies are warranted to advance the role of EETs in macrophage receptor biology.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Circular RNA in pancreatic cancer: a novel avenue for the roles of
           diagnosis and treatment

    • Authors: Zeyin Rong; Jin Xu, Si Shi, Zhen Tan, Qingcai Meng, Jie Hua, Jiang Liu, Bo Zhang, Wei Wang, Xianjun Yu, Chen Liang
      Pages: 2755 - 2769
      Abstract: Pancreatic cancer (PC), an important cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, is one of the most malignant cancers characterized by a dismal prognosis. Circular RNAs (circRNAs), a class of endogenous ncRNAs with unique covalently closed loops, have attracted great attention in regard to various diseases, especially cancers. Compelling studies have suggested that circRNAs are aberrantly expressed in different cancer tissues and cell types, including PC. More specifically, circRNAs can modify the proliferation, progression, tumorigenesis and chemosensitivity of PC, and some circRNAs could serve as biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis. Herein, we summarize what is currently known to be related to the biogenesis, functions and potential roles of human circRNAs in PC and their application prospects for PC clinical treatments.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Neutrophil-derived trail is a proinflammatory subtype of
           neutrophil-derived extracellular vesicles

    • Authors: Young-Jin Youn; Sanjeeb Shrestha, Yu-Bin Lee, Jun-Kyu Kim, Jee Hyun Lee, Keun Hur, Nanda Maya Mali, Sung-Wook Nam, Sun-Hwa Kim, Sunwoong Lee, Dong-Keun Song, Hee Kyung Jin, Jae-sung Bae, Chang-Won Hong
      Pages: 2770 - 2787
      Abstract: Aims: Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membrane-derived vesicles that mediate intercellular communications. Neutrophils produce different subtypes of EVs during inflammatory responses. Neutrophil-derived trails (NDTRs) are generated by neutrophils migrating toward inflammatory foci, whereas neutrophil-derived microvesicles (NDMVs) are thought to be generated by neutrophils that have arrived at the inflammatory foci. However, the physical and functional characteristics of neutrophil-derived EVs are incompletely understood. In this study, we aimed to investigate the differences between NDTRs and NDMVs.Methods: The generation of neutrophil-derived EVs were visualized by live-cell fluorescence images and the physical characteristics were further analyzed using nanotracking analysis assay, scanning electron microscopic analysis, and marker expressions. Functional characteristics of neutrophil-derived EVs were analyzed using assays for bactericidal activity, monocyte chemotaxis, phenotype polarization of macrophages, and miRNA sequencing. Finally, the effects of neutrophil-derived EVs on the acute and chronic inflammation were examined in vivo.Results: Both EVs share similar characteristics including stimulators, surface marker expression, bactericidal activity, and chemoattractive effect on monocytes via MCP-1. However, the integrin-mediated physical interaction was required for generation of NDTRs whereas NDMV generation was dependent on PI3K pathway. Interestingly, NDTRs contained proinflammatory miRNAs such as miR-1260, miR-1285, miR-4454, and miR-7975, while NDMVs contained anti-inflammatory miRNAs such as miR-126, miR-150, and miR-451a. Although both EVs were easily uptaken by monocytes, NDTRs enhanced proinflammatory macrophage polarization whereas NDMVs induced anti-inflammatory macrophage polarization. Moreover, NDTRs showed protective effects against lethality in a murine sepsis model and pathological changes in a murine chronic colitis model.Conclusion: These results suggest that NDTR is a proinflammatory subtype of neutrophil-derived EVs distinguished from NDMV.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Lipin 1 deficiency causes adult-onset myasthenia with motor neuron
           dysfunction in humans and neuromuscular junction defects in zebrafish

    • Authors: Shuxian Lu; Zhaojie Lyu, Zhihao Wang, Yao Kou, Cong Liu, Shengyue Li, Mengyan Hu, Hongjie Zhu, Wenxing Wang, Ce Zhang, Yung-Shu Kuan, Yi-Wen Liu, Jianming Chen, Jing Tian
      Pages: 2788 - 2805
      Abstract: Lipin 1 is an intracellular protein acting as a phosphatidic acid phosphohydrolase enzyme controlling lipid metabolism. Human recessive mutations in LPIN1 cause recurrent, early-onset myoglobinuria, a condition normally associated with muscle pain and weakness. Whether and how lipin 1 deficiency in humans leads to peripheral neuropathy is yet unclear. Herein, two novel compound heterozygous mutations in LPIN1 with neurological disorders, but no myoglobinuria were identified in an adult-onset syndromic myasthenia family. The present study sought to explore the pathogenic mechanism of LPIN1 in muscular and neural development.Methods: The clinical diagnosis of the proband was compared to the known 48 cases of LPIN1 recessive homozygous mutations. Whole-exome sequencing was carried out on the syndromic myasthenia family to identify the causative gene. The pathogenesis of lipin 1 deficiency during somitogenesis and neurogenesis was investigated using the zebrafish model. Whole-mount in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, birefringence analysis, touch-evoke escape response and locomotion assays were performed to observe in vivo the changes in muscles and neurons. The conservatism of the molecular pathways regulated by lipin 1 was evaluated in human primary glioblastoma and mouse myoblast cells by siRNA knockdown, drug treatment, qRT-PCR and Western blotting analysis.Results: The patient exhibited adult-onset myasthenia accompanied by muscle fiber atrophy and nerve demyelination without myoglobinuria. Two novel heterozygous mutations, c.2047A>C (p.I683L) and c.2201G>A (p.R734Q) in LPIN1, were identified in the family and predicted to alter the tertiary structure of LPIN1 protein. Lipin 1 deficiency in zebrafish embryos generated by lpin1 morpholino knockdown or human LPIN1 mutant mRNA injections reproduced the myotomes defects, a reduction both in primary motor neurons and secondary motor neurons projections, morphological changes of post-synaptic clusters of acetylcholine receptors, and myelination defects, which led to reduced touch-evoked response and abnormalities of swimming behaviors. Loss of lipin 1 function in zebrafish and mammalian cells also exhibited altered expression levels of muscle and neuron markers, as well as abnormally enhanced Notch signaling, which was partially rescued by the specific Notch pathway inhibitor DAPT.Conclusions: These findings pointed out that the compound heterozygous mutations in human LPIN1 caused adult-onset syndromic myasthenia with peripheral neuropathy. Moreover, zebrafish could be used to model the neuromuscular phenotypes due to the lipin 1 deficiency, where a novel pathological role of over-activated Notch signaling was discovered and further confirmed in mammalian cell lines.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Catalytic patch with redox Cr/CeO2 nanozyme of noninvasive intervention
           for brain trauma

    • Authors: Shaofang Zhang; Ying Liu, Si Sun, Junying Wang, Qifeng Li, Ruijuan Yan, Yalong Gao, Haile Liu, Shuangjie Liu, Wenting Hao, Haitao Dai, Changlong Liu, Yuanming Sun, Wei Long, Xiaoyu Mu, Xiao-Dong Zhang
      Pages: 2806 - 2821
      Abstract: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a sudden injury to the brain, accompanied by the production of large amounts of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) and acute neuroinflammation responses. Although traditional pharmacotherapy can effectively decrease the immune response of neuron cells via scavenging free radicals, it always involves in short reaction time as well as rigorous clinical trial. Therefore, a noninvasive topical treatment method that effectively eliminates free radicals still needs further investigation.Methods: In this study, a type of catalytic patch based on nanozymes with the excellent multienzyme-like activity is designed for noninvasive treatment of TBI. The enzyme-like activity, free radical scavenging ability and therapeutic efficacy of the designed catalytic patch were assessed in vitro and in vivo. The structural composition was characterized by the X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy technology.Results: Herein, the prepared Cr-doped CeO2 (Cr/CeO2) nanozyme increases the reduced Ce3+ states, resulting in its enzyme-like activity 3-5 times higher than undoped CeO2. Furthermore, Cr/CeO2 nanozyme can improve the survival rate of LPS induced neuron cells via decreasing excessive RONS. The in vivo experiments show the Cr/CeO2 nanozyme can promote wound healing and reduce neuroinflammation of mice following brain trauma. The catalytic patch based on nanozyme provides a noninvasive topical treatment route for TBI as well as other traumas diseases.Conclusions: The catalytic patch based on nanozyme provides a noninvasive topical treatment route for TBI as well as other traumas diseases.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Roles of CatSper channels in the pathogenesis of asthenozoospermia and the
           therapeutic effects of acupuncture-like treatment on asthenozoospermia

    • Authors: Zi-Run Jin; Dong Fang, Bo-Heng Liu, Jie Cai, Wen-Hao Tang, Hui Jiang, Guo-Gang Xing
      Pages: 2822 - 2844
      Abstract: Rationale: Idiopathic asthenozoospermia (iAZS) is one of the major causes of male infertility and has no effective therapeutic treatment. Understanding the potential mechanisms that cause it may be helpful in seeking novel targets and treatment strategies for overcoming the problem of low sperm motility in iAZS individuals.Methods: Computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA) was utilized to assess the sperm motility. RT-qPCR, Western blot, immunofluorescence staining, and calcium imaging analysis were performed to examine the expression and function of CatSper channels. Hyperactivation and acrosome reaction were used to evaluate the functional characteristics of epididymal sperm. In vivo fertility assay was applied to determine the fertility of rats. CatSper1 knockdown and overexpression experiments were performed to confirm the roles of CatSper channels in the pathogenesis of iAZS and the therapeutic effects of electroacupuncture (EA) treatment on AZS model rats.Results: Here, we reported a functional down-regulation of CatSper channel from CatSper1 to CatSper 4 in the sperm of both iAZS patients and ornidazole (ORN)-induced AZS model rats, and an impaired sperm function characterized by a reduction of protein tyrosine phosphorylation, hyperactivation, and acrosome reaction in the epididymal sperm of AZS rats. Knockdown of CatSper1 in the testis tissues is sufficient to induce AZS in normal rats, and this action was validated by the reversal effects of CatSper1 overexpression. Transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) and electroacupuncture (EA) at 2 Hz frequency improve the sperm motility via enhancing the functional expression of CatSper channels in the sperm. Gene silencing CatSper1 in the sperm abolishes the therapeutic effects of 2 Hz-EA treatment on AZS rats.Conclusions: We conclude that a functional down-regulation of CatSper channel in the sperm may be a contributor or a downstream indicator for a portion of AZS, especially iAZS, while 2 Hz-TEAS or EA treatment has a therapeutic effect on iAZS through inducing the functional up-regulation of CatSper channels in the sperm. This study provides a novel mechanism for the pathogenesis of some AZS especially iAZS, and presents a potential therapeutic target of CatSper for iAZS treatment. Acupuncture treatment like TEAS may be used as a promising complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapy for male infertility caused by iAZS in clinical practice.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Smad3 deficiency promotes beta cell proliferation and function in db/db
           mice via restoring Pax6 expression

    • Authors: Jingyi Sheng; Li Wang, Patrick Ming-Kuen Tang, Hong-Lian Wang, Jian-Chun Li, Bi-Hua Xu, Vivian Weiwen Xue, Rui-Zhi Tan, Nana Jin, Ting-Fung Chan, Xiao-Ru Huang, Ronald CW Ma, Hui-Yao Lan
      Pages: 2845 - 2859
      Abstract: Rationale: Transforming Growth Factor-beta (TGF-β) /Smad3 signaling has been shown to play important roles in fibrotic and inflammatory diseases, but its role in beta cell function and type 2 diabetes is unknown.Methods: The role of Smad3 in beta cell function under type 2 diabetes condition was investigated by genetically deleting Smad3 from db/db mice. Phenotypic changes of pancreatic islets and beta cell function were compared between Smad3 knockout db/db (Smad3KO-db/db) mice and Smad3 wild-type db/db (Smad3WT-db/db) mice, and other littermate controls. Islet-specific RNA-sequencing was performed to identify Smad3-dependent differentially expressed genes associated with type 2 diabetes. In vitro beta cell proliferation assay and insulin secretion assay were carried out to validate the mechanism by which Smad3 regulates beta cell proliferation and function.Results: The results showed that Smad3 deficiency completely protected against diabetes-associated beta cell loss and dysfunction in db/db mice. By islet-specific RNA-sequencing, we identified 8160 Smad3-dependent differentially expressed genes associated with type 2 diabetes, where Smad3 deficiency markedly prevented the down-regulation of those genes. Mechanistically, Smad3 deficiency preserved the expression of beta cell development mediator Pax6 in islet, thereby enhancing beta cell proliferation and function in db/db mice in vivo and in Min6 cells in vitro.Conclusions: Taken together, we discovered a pathogenic role of Smad3 in beta cell loss and dysfunction via targeting the protective Pax6. Thus, Smad3 may represent as a novel therapeutic target for type 2 diabetes prevention and treatment.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Cisplatin-resistant NSCLC cells induced by hypoxia transmit resistance to
           sensitive cells through exosomal PKM2

    • Authors: Dongliang Wang; Chaoshuai Zhao, Fei Xu, Aimi Zhang, Mingming Jin, Kunchi Zhang, Liu Liu, Qian Hua, Jian Zhao, Jianjun Liu, Hao Yang, Gang Huang
      Pages: 2860 - 2875
      Abstract: Hypoxia is commonly observed in solid tumors and contributes to the resistance of DNA damage drugs. However, the mechanisms behind this resistance are still unclear. In this study, we aimed to explore the effects of hypoxia-induced exosomes on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).Methods: NSCLC cells were subjected to either normoxic or hypoxic conditions to assess cell survival and changes in the expression levels of key proteins. Comparative proteomics were performed to identify exosomal PKM2 in normoxic or hypoxic cisplatin-resistant NSCLC cells-derived exosomes. Functions of hypoxia induced-exosomal PKM2 in promoting cisplatin resistance to NSCLC cells were evaluated both in vitro and in vivo experiments and the molecular mechanisms of hypoxia induced-exosomal PKM2 were demonstrated using flow cytometry, immunoblotting, oxidative stress detection and histological examination. A series of in vitro experiments were performed to evaluate the function of hypoxia-induced exosomes on cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs).Results: Hypoxia exacerbated the cisplatin resistance in lung cancer cells due to the increased expression of PKM2 that was observed in the exosomes secreted by hypoxic cisplatin-resistance cells. We identified that hypoxia-induced exosomal PKM2 transmitted cisplatin-resistance to sensitive NSCLC cells in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, hypoxia-induced exosomal PKM2 promoted glycolysis in NSCLC cells to produce reductive metabolites, which may neutralize reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced by cisplatin. Additionally, hypoxia-induced exosomal PKM2 inhibited apoptosis in a PKM2-BCL2-dependent manner. Moreover, hypoxia-induced exosomal PKM2 reprogrammed CAFs to create an acidic microenvironment promoting NSCLC cells proliferation and cisplatin resistance.Conclusions: Our findings revealed that hypoxia-induced exosomes transmit cisplatin resistance to sensitive NSCLC cells by delivering PKM2. Exosomal PKM2 may serve as a promising biomarker and therapeutic target for cisplatin resistance in NSCLC.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • An advanced optical clearing protocol allows label-free detection of
           tissue necrosis via multiphoton microscopy in injured whole muscle

    • Authors: Dominik Schneidereit; Anita Bröllochs, Paul Ritter, Lucas Kreiß, Zeinab Mokhtari, Andreas Beilhack, Gerhard Krönke, Jochen A Ackermann, Maria Faas, Anika Grüneboom, Sebastian Schürmann, Oliver Friedrich
      Pages: 2876 - 2891
      Abstract: Rationale: Structural remodeling or damage as a result of disease or injury is often not evenly distributed throughout a tissue but strongly depends on localization and extent of damaging stimuli. Skeletal muscle as a mechanically active organ can express signs of local or even systemic myopathic damage, necrosis, or repair. Conventionally, muscle biopsies (patients) or whole muscles (animal models) are mechanically sliced and stained to assess structural alterations histologically. Three-dimensional tissue information can be obtained by applying deep imaging modalities, e.g. multiphoton or light-sheet microscopy. Chemical clearing approaches reduce scattering, e.g. through matching refractive tissue indices, to overcome optical penetration depth limits in thick tissues.Methods: Here, we optimized a range of different clearing protocols. We find aqueous solution-based protocols employing (20-80%) 2,2'-thiodiethanol (TDE) to be advantageous over organic solvents (dibenzyl ether, cinnamate) regarding the preservation of muscle morphology, ease-of-use, hazard level, and costs.Results: Applying TDE clearing to a mouse model of local cardiotoxin (CTX)-induced muscle necrosis, a complete loss of myosin-II signals was observed in necrotic areas with little change in fibrous collagen or autofluorescence (AF) signals. The 3D aspect of myofiber integrity could be assessed, and muscle necrosis in whole muscle was quantified locally via the ratios of detected AF, forward- and backward-scattered Second Harmonic Generation (fSHG, bSHG) signals.Conclusion: TDE optical clearing is a versatile tool to study muscle architecture in conjunction with label-free multiphoton imaging in 3D in injury/myopathy models and might also be useful in studying larger biofabricated constructs in regenerative medicine.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Tumor microenvironment remodeling and tumor therapy based on M2-like tumor
           associated macrophage-targeting nano-complexes

    • Authors: Shulan Han; Wenjie Wang, Shengfang Wang, Tingyuan Yang, Guifeng Zhang, Di Wang, Ruijun Ju, Yu Lu, Huimei Wang, Lianyan Wang
      Pages: 2892 - 2916
      Abstract: Background: Among the many immunosuppressive cells in the tumor microenvironment, tumor-associated-macrophages (TAMs) are well known to contribute to tumor development. TAMs can be conditioned (polarized) to transition between classical M1-like macrophages, or alternatively to M2-like macrophages. Both are regulated by signaling molecules in the microenvironment. M1-like TAMs can secrete classic inflammatory cytokines that kill tumors by promoting tumor cell necrosis and immune cell infiltration into the tumor microenvironment. In contrast, M2-like TAMs exhibit powerful tumor-promoting functions, including degradation of tumor extracellular matrix, destruction of basement membrane, promotion of angiogenesis, and recruitment of immunosuppressor cells, all of which further promote tumor progression and distal metastasis. Therefore, remodeling the tumor microenvironment by reversing the TAM phenotype will be favorable for tumor therapy, especially immunotherapy.Methods: PLGA nanoparticles encapsulating baicalin and melanoma antigen Hgp peptide fragment 25-33 were fabricated using the ultrasonic double-emulsion technique. The nanoparticles were further loaded with CpG fragments and used conjugated M2pep and α-pep peptides on their surfaces to produce novel nano-complexes. The capability to target M2-like TAMs and anti-tumor immunotherapy effects of nano-complexes were evaluated by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy in vitro. We also investigated the survival and histopathology of murine melanoma models administrated with different nanocomplexes. Improvements in the tumor microenvironment for immune attack of melanoma-bearing mice were also assessed.Results: The nano-complexes were effectively ingested by M2-like TAMs in vitro and in vivo, and the acidic lysosomal environment triggered the disintegration of polydopamine from the nanoparticle surface, which resulted in the release of the payloads. The released CpG played an important role in transforming the M2-like TAMs into the M1-like phenotype that further secreted inflammatory cytokines. The reversal of TAM released cytokines and gradually suppressed tumor angiogenesis, permitting the remodeling of the tumor microenvironment. Moreover, the activated TAMs also presented antigen to T cells, which further stimulated the antitumor immune response that inhibited tumor metastasis. Activated T cells released cytokines, which stimulated NK cell infiltration and directly resulted in killing tumor cells. The baicalin released by M1-like TAMs also killed tumor cells.Conclusion: The nano-complexes facilitated baicalin, antigen, and immunostimulant delivery to M2-like TAMs, which polarized and reversed the M2-like TAM phenotype and remodeled the tumor microenvironment to allow killing of tumor cells.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Nanofibrous nerve guidance conduits decorated with decellularized matrix
           hydrogel facilitate peripheral nerve injury repair

    • Authors: Chushan Zheng; Zehong Yang, Shihao Chen, Fang Zhang, Zilong Rao, Cailing Zhao, Daping Quan, Ying Bai, Jun Shen
      Pages: 2917 - 2931
      Abstract: Rationale: Peripheral nerve injury (PNI) is a great challenge for regenerative medicine. Nerve autograft is the gold standard for clinical PNI repair. Due to its significant drawbacks, artificial nerve guidance conduits (NGCs) have drawn much attention as replacement therapies. We developed a combinatorial NGC consisting of longitudinally aligned electrospun nanofibers and porcine decellularized nerve matrix hydrogel (pDNM gel). The in vivo capacity for facilitating nerve tissue regeneration and functional recovery was evaluated in a rat sciatic nerve defect model.Methods: Poly (L-lactic acid) (PLLA) was electrospun into randomly oriented (PLLA-random) and longitudinally aligned (PLLA-aligned) nanofibers. PLLA-aligned were further coated with pDNM gel at concentrations of 0.25% (PLLA-aligned/0.25% pDNM gel) and 1% (PLLA-aligned/1% pDNM gel). Axonal extension and Schwann cells migration were evaluated by immunofluorescence staining of dorsal root ganglia cultured on the scaffolds. To fabricate implantable NGCs, the nanofibrous scaffolds were rolled and covered with an electrospun protection tube. The fabricated NGCs were then implanted into a 5 mm sciatic nerve defect model in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. Nerves treated with NGCs were compared to contralateral uninjured nerves (control group), injured but untreated nerves (unstitched group), and autografted nerves. Nerve regeneration was monitored by an established set of assays, including T2 values and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) derived from multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), histological assessments, and immunostaining. Nerve functional recovery was evaluated by walking track analysis.Results: PLLA-aligned/0.25% pDNM gel scaffold exhibited the best performance in facilitating directed axonal extension and Schwann cells migration in vitro due to the combined effects of the topological cues provided by the aligned nanofibers and the biochemical cues retained in the pDNM gel. Consistent results were obtained in animal experiments with the fabricated NGCs. Both the T2 and fractional anisotropy values of the PLLA-aligned/0.25% pDNM gel group were the closest to those of the autografted group, and returned to normal much faster than those of the other NGCs groups. Histological assessment indicated that the implanted PLLA-aligned/0.25% pDNM gel NGC resulted in the largest number of axons and the most extensive myelination among all fabricated NGCs. Further, the PLLA-aligned/0.25% pDNM gel group exhibited the highest sciatic nerve function index, which was comparable to that of the autografted group, at 8 weeks post-surgery.Conclusions: NGCs composed of aligned PLLA nanofibers decorated with 0.25% pDNM gel provided both topological and biochemical guidance for directing and promoting axonal extension, nerve fiber myelination, and functional recovery. Moreover, T2-mapping and DTI metrics were found to be useful non-invasive monitoring techniques for PNI treatment.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Evodiamine inhibits both stem cell and non-stem-cell populations in human
           cancer cells by targeting heat shock protein 70

    • Authors: Seung Yeob Hyun; Huong Thuy Le, Hye-Young Min, Honglan Pei, Yijae Lim, Injae Song, Yen T. K. Nguyen, Suckchang Hong, Byung Woo Han, Ho-Young Lee
      Pages: 2932 - 2952
      Abstract: Rationale: Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are known to cause tumor recurrence and drug resistance. The heat shock protein (HSP) system plays a major role in preserving expression and function of numerous oncoproteins, including those involved in the CSC activities. We explored novel anticancer drugs, especially those targeting HSP components required for the functional role of CSCs.Methods: Investigation of the role of the HSP system in CSCs and screening of a natural product chemical library were performed by utilizing cancer cell lines, primary cultures of patient-derived xenografts (PDXs), and their putative CSC subpopulations (i.e., those grown under sphere-forming conditions, stably transfected with reporter vectors carrying NANOG or POUSF1 promoters, or carrying high ALDH activity) in vitro and PDX and KrasG12D/+-driven tumor models in vivo. Regulation of the HSP system was investigated by immunoprecipitation, drug affinity responsive target stability assay, binding experiments using ATP-agarose beads and biotinylated drug, and docking analysis.Results: The HSP system was activated in CSCs via transcriptional upregulation of the HSP system components, especially HSP70. Evodiamine (Evo) was identified to induce apoptosis in both CSC and bulk non-CSC populations in human lung, colon, and breast cancer cells and their sublines with chemoresistance. Evo administration decreased the multiplicity, volume, and load of lung tumors in KrasG12D/+ transgenic mice and the growth of cancer cell line- and PDX-derived tumors without detectable toxicity. Mechanistically, Evo disrupted the HSP system by binding the N-terminal ATP-binding pocket of HSP70 and causing its ubiquitin-mediated degradation.Conclusions: Our findings illustrate HSP70 as a potential target for eliminating CSCs and Evo as an effective HSP70-targeting anticancer drug eradicating both CSCs and non-CSCs with a minimal toxicity.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Exosome-based Ldlr gene therapy for familial hypercholesterolemia in a
           mouse model

    • Authors: Zhelong Li; Ping Zhao, Yajun Zhang, Jia Wang, Chen Wang, Yunnan Liu, Guodong Yang, Lijun Yuan
      Pages: 2953 - 2965
      Abstract: Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), with high LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels, is due to inherited mutations in genes, such as low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR). Development of therapeutic strategies for FH, which causes atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, is urgently needed.Methods: Mice with low-density lipoprotein receptor (Ldlr) deletion (Ldlr-/- mice) were used as an FH model. Ldlr mRNA was encapsulated into exosomes by forced expression of Ldlr in the donor AML12 (alpha mouse liver) cells, and the resultant exosomes were denoted as ExoLdlr. In vivo distribution of exosomes was analyzed by fluorescence labeling and imaging. The delivery efficiency of Ldlr mRNA was analyzed by qPCR and Western blotting. Therapeutic effects of ExoLdlr were examined in Ldlr-/- mice by blood lipids and Oil Red O staining.Results: The encapsulated mRNA was stable and could be translated into functional protein in the recipient cells. Following tail vein injection, exosomes were mainly delivered into the liver, producing abundant LDLR protein, resembling the endogenous expression profile in the wild-type mouse. Compared with control exosomes, ExoLdlr treatment significantly decreased lipid deposition in the liver and lowered the serum LDL-cholesterol level. Significantly, the number and size of atherosclerotic plaques and inflammation were reduced in the ExoLdlr-treated mice.Conclusions: We have shown that exosome-mediated Ldlr mRNA delivery effectively restored receptor expression, treating the disorders in the Ldlr-/- mouse. Our study provided a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of FH patients and managing atherosclerosis.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Cytoplasmic SHMT2 drives the progression and metastasis of colorectal
           cancer by inhibiting β-catenin degradation

    • Authors: Chunqi Liu; Liang Wang, Xiaocong Liu, Yuping Tan, Lei Tao, Yuzhou Xiao, Pengchi Deng, Huijuan Wang, Qianyi Deng, Yiyun Lin, Hui Jie, Huaqin Zhang, Jing Zhang, Yong Peng, Hu Zhang, Zongguang Zhou, Qingxiang Sun, Xiaobo Cen, Yinglan Zhao
      Pages: 2966 - 2986
      Abstract: Introduction: Serine hydroxymethyltransferase 2 (SHMT2) plays a critical role in serine-glycine metabolism to drive cancer cell proliferation. However, the nonmetabolic function of SHMT2 in tumorigenesis, especially in human colorectal cancer (CRC) progression, remains largely unclear.Methods: SHMT2 expression in human CRC cells was identified by western blot and immunofluorescence assay. The CRC cell proliferation, migration, and invasion after SHMT2 knockdown or overexpression were explored through in vitro and in vivo assays. Immunofluorescence, mRNA-seq, co-immunoprecipitation, chromatin immunoprecipitation-qPCR and immunohistochemistry assays were used to investigate the underlying mechanisms behind the SHMT2 nonmetabolic function.Results: We demonstrated that SHMT2 was distributed in the cytoplasm and nucleus of human CRC cells. SHMT2 knockdown resulted in the significant inhibition of CRC cell proliferation, which was not restored by serine, glycine, or formate supplementation. The invasion and migration of CRC cells were suppressed after SHMT2 knockdown. Mechanistically, SHMT2 interacted with β-catenin in the cytoplasm. This interaction inhibited the ubiquitylation-mediated degradation of β-catenin and subsequently modulated the expression of its target genes, leading to the promotion of CRC cell proliferation and metastasis. Notably, the lysine 64 residue on SHMT2 (SHMT2K64) mediated its interaction with β-catenin. Moreover, transcription factor TCF4 interacted with β-catenin, which in turn increased SHMT2 expression, forming an SHMT2/β-catenin positive feedback loop. In vivo xenograft experiments confirmed that SHMT2 promoted the growth and metastasis of CRC cells. Finally, the level of SHMT2 was found to be significantly increased in human CRC tissues. The SHMT2 level was correlated with an increased level of β-catenin, associated with CRC progression and predicted poor patient survival.Conclusion: Taken together, our findings reveal a novel nonmetabolic function of SHMT2 in which it stabilizes β-catenin to prevent its ubiquitylation-mediated degradation and provide a potential therapeutic strategy for CRC therapy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Genome-wide study of salivary miRNAs identifies miR-423-5p as promising
           diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in oral squamous cell carcinoma

    • Authors: Chiara Romani; Elisa Salviato, Alberto Paderno, Laura Zanotti, Antonella Ravaggi, Alberto Deganello, Giulia Berretti, Tommaso Gualtieri, Sergio Marchini, Maurizio D'Incalci, Davide Mattavelli, Cesare Piazza, Paolo Bossi, Chiara Romualdi, Piero Nicolai, Eliana Bignotti
      Pages: 2987 - 2999
      Abstract: Survival rates of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) remained substantially unchanged over the last decades; thus, additional prognostic tools are strongly needed. Salivary miRNAs have emerged as excellent non-invasive cancer biomarker candidates, but their association with OSCC prognosis has not been investigated yet. In this study, we analyzed global salivary miRNA expression in OSCC patients and healthy controls, with the aim to define its diagnostic and prognostic potential.Methods: Saliva was collected from patients with newly diagnosed untreated primary OSCC and healthy controls. Global profiling of salivary miRNAs was carried out through a microarray approach, while signature validation was performed by quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR). A stringent statistical approach for microarray and RT-qPCR data normalization was applied. The diagnostic performance of miRNAs and their correlation with OSCC prognosis were comprehensively analyzed.Results: In total, 25 miRNAs emerged as differentially expressed between OSCC patients and healthy controls and, among them, seven were significantly associated with disease-free survival (DFS). miR-106b-5p, miR-423-5p and miR-193b-3p were expressed at high levels in saliva of OSCC patients and their combination displays the best diagnostic performance (ROC - AUC = 0.98). Moreover, high expression of miR-423-5p was an independent predictor of poor DFS, when included in multivariate survival analysis with the number of positive lymph nodes - the only significant clinical prognosticator. Finally, we observed a significant decrease in miR-423-5p expression in matched post-operative saliva samples, suggesting its potential cancer-specific origin.Conclusion: Salivary miRNAs identified in our cohort of patients show to be accurate in OSCC detection and to effectively stratify patients according to their likelihood of relapse. These results, if validated in an independent set of patients, could be particularly promising for screening/follow-up of high-risk populations and useful for preoperative prognostic assessment.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • ALKBH5 regulates cardiomyocyte proliferation and heart regeneration by
           demethylating the mRNA of YTHDF1

    • Authors: Zhenbo Han; Xiuxiu Wang, Zihang Xu, Yang Cao, Rui Gong, Yang Yu, Ying Yu, Xiaofei Guo, Shenzhen Liu, Meixi Yu, Wenya Ma, Yiming Zhao, Juan Xu, Xingda Li, Shuainan Li, Yan Xu, Ruijie Song, Binbin Xu, Fan Yang, Djibril Bamba, Natalia Sukhareva, Hong Lei, Manqi Gao, Wenwen Zhang, Naufal Zagidullin, Ying Zhang, Baofeng Yang, Zhenwei Pan, Benzhi Cai
      Pages: 3000 - 3016
      Abstract: N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA modification, a dynamic and reversible process, is essential for tissue development and pathogenesis. However, the potential involvement of m6A in the regulation of cardiomyocyte (CM) proliferation and cardiac regeneration remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to investigate the essential role of m6A modification in heart regeneration during postnatal and adult injury.Methods and results: In this study, we identified the downregulation of m6A demethylase ALKBH5, an m6A “eraser” that is responsible for increased m6A methylation, in the heart after birth. Notably, ALKBH5 knockout mice exhibited decreased cardiac regenerative ability and heart function after neonatal apex resection. Conversely, forced expression of ALKBH5 via adeno-associated virus-9 (AAV9) delivery markedly reduced the infarct size, restored cardiac function and promoted CM proliferation after myocardial infarction in juvenile (7 days old) and adult (8-weeks old) mice. Mechanistically, ALKBH5-mediated m6A demethylation improved the mRNA stability of YTH N6-methyladenosine RNA-binding protein 1 (YTHDF1), thereby increasing its expression, which consequently promoted the translation of Yes-associated protein (YAP). The modulation of ALKBH5 and YTHDF1 expression in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes consistently yielded similar results.Conclusion: Taken together, our findings highlight the vital role of the ALKBH5-m6A-YTHDF1-YAP axis in the regulation of CMs to re-enter the cell cycle. This finding suggests a novel potential therapeutic strategy for cardiac regeneration.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Machine learning identifies stroke features between species

    • Authors: Salvador Castaneda-Vega; Prateek Katiyar, Francesca Russo, Kristin Patzwaldt, Luisa Schnabel, Sarah Mathes, Johann-Martin Hempel, Ursula Kohlhofer, Irene Gonzalez-Menendez, Leticia Quintanilla-Martinez, Ulf Ziemann, Christian la Fougere, Ulrike Ernemann, Bernd J. Pichler, Jonathan A. Disselhorst, Sven Poli
      Pages: 3017 - 3034
      Abstract: Identification and localization of ischemic stroke (IS) lesions is routinely performed to confirm diagnosis, assess stroke severity, predict disability and plan rehabilitation strategies using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In basic research, stroke lesion segmentation is necessary to study complex peri-infarction tissue changes. Moreover, final stroke volume is a critical outcome evaluated in clinical and preclinical experiments to determine therapy or intervention success. Manual segmentations are performed but they require a specialized skill set, are prone to inter-observer variation, are not entirely objective and are often not supported by histology. The task is even more challenging when dealing with large multi-center datasets, multiple experimenters or large animal cohorts. On the other hand, current automatized segmentation approaches often lack histological validation, are not entirely user independent, are often based on single parameters, or in the case of complex machine learning methods, require vast training datasets and are prone to a lack of model interpretation.Methods: We induced IS using the middle cerebral artery occlusion model on two rat cohorts. We acquired apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and T2-weighted (T2W) images at 24 h and 1-week after IS induction. Subsets of the animals at 24 h and 1-week post IS were evaluated using histology and immunohistochemistry. Using a Gaussian mixture model, we segmented voxel-wise interactions between ADC and T2W parameters at 24 h using one of the rat cohorts. We then used these segmentation results to train a random forest classifier, which we applied to the second rat cohort. The algorithms' stroke segmentations were compared to manual stroke delineations, T2W and ADC thresholding methods and the final stroke segmentation at 1-week. Volume correlations to histology were also performed for every segmentation method. Metrics of success were calculated with respect to the final stroke volume. Finally, the trained random forest classifier was tested on a human dataset with a similar temporal stroke on-set. Manual segmentations, ADC and T2W thresholds were again used to evaluate and perform comparisons with the proposed algorithms' output.Results: In preclinical rat data our framework significantly outperformed commonly applied automatized thresholding approaches and segmented stroke regions similarly to manual delineation. The framework predicted the localization of final stroke regions in 1-week post-stroke MRI with a median Dice similarity coefficient of 0.86, Matthew's correlation coefficient of 0.80 and false positive rate of 0.04. The predicted stroke volumes also strongly correlated with final histological stroke regions (Pearson correlation = 0.88, P < 0.0001). Lastly, the stroke region characteristics identified by our framework in rats also identified stroke lesions in human brains, largely outperforming thresholding approaches in stroke volume prediction (P
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 6 (2021)
       
  • Imaging temozolomide-induced changes in the myeloid glioma
           microenvironment

    • Authors: Claudia Foray; Silvia Valtorta, Cristina Barca, Alexandra Winkeler, Wolfgang Roll, Michael Müther, Stefan Wagner, Miranda L. Gardner, Sven Hermann, Michael Schäfers, Oliver Martin Grauer, Rosa Maria Moresco, Bastian Zinnhardt, Andreas H. Jacobs
      Pages: 2020 - 2033
      Abstract: Rationale: The heterogeneous nature of gliomas makes the development and application of novel treatments challenging. In particular, infiltrating myeloid cells play a role in tumor progression and therapy resistance. Hence, a detailed understanding of the dynamic interplay of tumor cells and immune cells in vivo is necessary. To investigate the complex interaction between tumor progression and therapy-induced changes in the myeloid immune component of the tumor microenvironment, we used a combination of [18F]FET (amino acid metabolism) and [18F]DPA-714 (TSPO, GAMMs, tumor cells, astrocytes, endothelial cells) PET/MRI together with immune-phenotyping. The aim of the study was to monitor temozolomide (TMZ) treatment response and therapy-induced changes in the inflammatory tumor microenvironment (TME).Methods: Eighteen NMRInu/nu mice orthotopically implanted with Gli36dEGFR cells underwent MRI and PET/CT scans before and after treatment with TMZ or DMSO (vehicle). Tumor-to-background (striatum) uptake ratios were calculated and areas of unique tracer uptake (FET vs. DPA) were determined using an atlas-based volumetric approach.Results: TMZ therapy significantly modified the spatial distribution and uptake of both tracers. [18F]FET uptake was significantly reduced after therapy (-53 ± 84%) accompanied by a significant decrease of tumor volume (-17 ± 6%). In contrast, a significant increase (61 ± 33%) of [18F]DPA-714 uptake was detected by TSPO imaging in specific areas of the tumor. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) validated the reduction in tumor volumes and further revealed the presence of reactive TSPO-expressing glioma-associated microglia/macrophages (GAMMs) in the TME.Conclusion: We confirm the efficiency of [18F]FET-PET for monitoring TMZ-treatment response and demonstrate that in vivo TSPO-PET performed with [18F]DPA-714 can be used to identify specific reactive areas of myeloid cell infiltration in the TME.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • Transplantation of autologous extracellular vesicles for cancer-specific
           targeting

    • Authors: Alessandro Villa; Mariangela Garofalo, Daniela Crescenti, Nicoletta Rizzi, Electra Brunialti, Andrea Vingiani, Paolo Belotti, Carlo Sposito, Silvia Franzè, Francesco Cilurzo, Giancarlo Pruneri, Camilla Recordati, Chiara Giudice, Alessia Giordano, Monica Tortoreto, Giangiacomo Beretta, Damiano Stefanello, Giacomo Manenti, Nadia Zaffaroni, Vincenzo Mazzaferro, Paolo Ciana
      Pages: 2034 - 2047
      Abstract: Nano- and microsized extracellular vesicles (EVs) are naturally occurring cargo-bearing packages of regulatory macromolecules, and recent studies are increasingly showing that EVs are responsible for physiological intercellular communication. Nanoparticles encapsulating anti-tumor theranostics represent an attractive “exosome-interfering” strategy for cancer therapy.Methods: Herein, by labeling plasma-derived EVs with indocyanine green (ICG) and following their biodistribution by in vivo and ex vivo imaging, we demonstrate the existence of nanoparticles with a highly selective cancer tropism in the blood of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients but not in that of healthy volunteers.Results: In CRC patient-derived xenograft (PDX) mouse models, we show that transplanted EVs recognize tumors from the cognate nanoparticle-generating individual, suggesting the theranostic potential of autologous EVs encapsulating tumor-interfering molecules. In large canine breeds bearing spontaneous malignant skin and breast tumors, the same autologous EV transplantation protocol shows comparable safety and efficacy profiles.Conclusions: Our data show the existence of an untapped resource of intercellular communication present in the blood of cancer patients, which represents an efficient and highly biocompatible way to deliver molecules directly to the tumor with great precision. The novel EV-interfering approach proposed by our study may become a new research direction in the complex interplay of modern personalized cancer therapy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • Beyond glucose: alternative sources of energy in glioblastoma

    • Authors: John L. Caniglia; Anvesh Jalasutram, Swapna Asuthkar, Joseph Sahagun, Simon Park, Aditya Ravindra, Andrew J. Tsung, Maheedhara R. Guda, Kiran K. Velpula
      Pages: 2048 - 2057
      Abstract: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common malignant brain tumor in adults. With a designation of WHO Grade IV, it is also the most lethal primary brain tumor with a median survival of just 15 months. This is often despite aggressive treatment that includes surgical resection, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Based on the poor outcomes and prevalence of the tumor, the demand for innovative therapies continues to represent a pressing issue for clinicians and researchers. In terms of therapies targeting metabolism, the prevalence of the Warburg effect has led to a focus on targeting glucose metabolism to halt tumor progression. While glucose is the dominant source of growth substrate in GBM, a number of unique metabolic pathways are exploited in GBM to meet the increased demand for replication and progression. In this review we aim to explore how metabolites from fatty acid oxidation, the urea cycle, the glutamate-glutamine cycle, and one-carbon metabolism are shunted toward energy producing pathways to meet the high energy demand in GBM. We will also explore how the process of autophagy provides a reservoir of nutrients to support viable tumor cells. By so doing, we aim to establish a foundation of implicated metabolic mechanisms supporting growth and tumorigenesis of GBM within the literature. With the sparse number of therapeutic interventions specifically targeting metabolic pathways in GBM, we hope that this review expands further insight into the development of novel treatment modalities.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • The histone deacetylase inhibitor PCI-24781 impairs calcium influx and
           inhibits proliferation and metastasis in breast cancer

    • Authors: Tianshu Yang; Pei Wang, Xin Yin, Jingyao Zhang, Miaomiao Huo, Jie Gao, Gen Li, Xu Teng, Hefen Yu, Wei Huang, Yan Wang
      Pages: 2058 - 2076
      Abstract: Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are involved in key cellular processes and have been implicated in cancer. As such, compounds that target HDACs or drugs that target epigenetic markers may be potential candidates for cancer therapy. This study was therefore aimed to identify a potential epidrug with low toxicity and high efficiency as anti-tumor agents.Methods: We first screened an epigenetic small molecule inhibitor library to screen for an epidrug for breast cancer. The candidate was identified as PCI-24781 and was characterized for half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50), for specificity to breast cancer cells, and for effects on carcinogenesis and metastatic properties of breast cancer cell lines in vitro. A series of in silico and in vitro analyses were further performed of PCI-24781 to identify and understand its target.Results: Screening of an epigenetic inhibitor library in MDA-MB-231 cells, a malignant cancer cell line, showed that PCI-24781 is a potential anti-tumor drug specific to breast cancer. Ca2+ related pathways were identified as a potential target of PCI-24781. Further analyses showed that PCI-24781 inhibited Gαq-PLCβ3-mediated calcium signaling by activating the expression of regulator of G-protein signaling 2 (RGS2) to reduce cell proliferation, metastasis, and differentiation, resulting in cell death in breast cancer. In addition, RGS2 depletion reversed anti-tumor effect and inhibition of calcium influx induced by PCI-24781 treatment in breast cancer cells.Conclusions: We have demonstrated that PCI-24781 is an effective anti-tumor therapeutic agent that targets calcium signaling by activating RGS2. This study also provides a novel perspective into the use of HDAC inhibitors for cancer therapy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • Twist promotes tumor metastasis in basal-like breast cancer by
           transcriptionally upregulating ROR1: Erratum

    • Authors: Jingying Cao; Xin Wang, Tao Dai, Yuanzhong Wu, Meifang Zhang, Renxian Cao, Ruhua Zhang, Gang Wang, Rou Jiang, Binhua P. Zhou, Jian Shi, Tiebang Kang
      Pages: 2077 - 2078
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • TIMP3 expression associates with prognosis in colorectal cancer and its
           novel arylsulfonamide inducer, MPT0B390, inhibits tumor growth, metastasis
           and angiogenesis: Erratum

    • Authors: Han-Li Huang; Yi-Min Liu, Ting-Yi Sung, Tsui-Chin Huang, Ya-Wen Cheng, Jing-Ping Liou, Shiow-Lin Pan
      Pages: 2079 - 2079
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • PDE inhibition in distinct cell types to reclaim the balance of synaptic
           plasticity

    • Authors: Ben Rombaut; Sofie Kessels, Melissa Schepers, Assia Tiane, Dean Paes, Yevgeniya Solomina, Elisabeth Piccart, Daniel van den Hove, Bert Brône, Jos Prickaerts, Tim Vanmierlo
      Pages: 2080 - 2097
      Abstract: Synapses are the functional units of the brain. They form specific contact points that drive neuronal communication and are highly plastic in their strength, density, and shape. A carefully orchestrated balance between synaptogenesis and synaptic pruning, i.e., the elimination of weak or redundant synapses, ensures adequate synaptic density. An imbalance between these two processes lies at the basis of multiple neuropathologies. Recent evidence has highlighted the importance of glia-neuron interactions in the synaptic unit, emphasized by glial phagocytosis of synapses and local excretion of inflammatory mediators. These findings warrant a closer look into the molecular basis of cell-signaling pathways in the different brain cells that are related to synaptic plasticity. In neurons, intracellular second messengers, such as cyclic guanosine or adenosine monophosphate (cGMP and cAMP, respectively), are known mediators of synaptic homeostasis and plasticity. Increased levels of these second messengers in glial cells slow down inflammation and neurodegenerative processes. These multi-faceted effects provide the opportunity to counteract excessive synapse loss by targeting cGMP and cAMP pathways in multiple cell types. Phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are specialized degraders of these second messengers, rendering them attractive targets to combat the detrimental effects of neurological disorders. Cellular and subcellular compartmentalization of the specific isoforms of PDEs leads to divergent downstream effects for these enzymes in the various central nervous system resident cell types. This review provides a detailed overview on the role of PDEs and their inhibition in the context of glia-neuron interactions in different neuropathologies characterized by synapse loss. In doing so, it provides a framework to support future research towards finding combinational therapy for specific neuropathologies.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • Assessing PD-L1 expression in non-small cell lung cancer and predicting
           responses to immune checkpoint inhibitors using deep learning on computed
           tomography images

    • Authors: Panwen Tian; Bingxi He, Wei Mu, Kunqin Liu, Li Liu, Hao Zeng, Yujie Liu, Lili Jiang, Ping Zhou, Zhipei Huang, Di Dong, Weimin Li
      Pages: 2098 - 2107
      Abstract: Rationale: This study aimed to use computed tomography (CT) images to assess PD-L1 expression in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and predict response to immunotherapy.Methods: We retrospectively analyzed a PD-L1 expression dataset that consisted of 939 consecutive stage IIIB-IV NSCLC patients with pretreatment CT images. A deep convolutional neural network was trained and optimized with CT images from the training cohort (n = 750) and validation cohort (n = 93) to obtain a PD-L1 expression signature (PD-L1ES), which was evaluated using the test cohort (n = 96). Finally, a separate immunotherapy cohort (n = 94) was used to assess the prognostic value of PD-L1ES with respect to clinical outcome.Results: PD-L1ES was able to predict high PD-L1 expression (PD-L1 ≥ 50%) with areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.78 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.75~0.80), 0.71 (95% CI: 0.59~0.81), and 0.76 (95% CI: 0.66~0.85) in the training, validation, and test cohorts, respectively. In patients treated with anti-PD-1 antibody, low PD-L1ES was associated with improved progression-free survival (PFS) (median PFS 363 days in low score group vs 183 days in high score group; hazard ratio [HR]: 2.57, 95% CI: 1.22~5.44; P = 0.010). Additionally, when PD-L1ES was combined with a clinical model that was trained using age, sex, smoking history and family history of malignancy, the response to immunotherapy could be better predicted compared to either PD-L1ES or the clinical model alone.Conclusions: The deep learning model provides a noninvasive method to predict high PD-L1 expression of NSCLC and to infer clinical outcomes in response to immunotherapy. Additionally, this deep learning model combined with clinical models demonstrated improved stratification capabilities.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • STK39 is a novel kinase contributing to the progression of hepatocellular
           carcinoma by the PLK1/ERK signaling pathway

    • Authors: Chengfei Zhang; Xiaoming Wang, Dan Fang, Ping Xu, Xiao Mo, Chao Hu, Alaa Abdelatty, Mei Wang, Haojun Xu, Qi Sun, Guoren Zhou, Junjun She, Jinglin Xia, Kam Man Hui, Hongping Xia
      Pages: 2108 - 2122
      Abstract: Rationale: Protein kinases are critical therapeutic targets for curing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). As a serine/threonine kinase, the potential roles of serine/threonine kinase 39 (STK39) in HCC remain to be explored.Methods: The expression of STK39 was examined by RT-qPCR, western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Cell proliferation and apoptosis were detected by CCK8 and TUNEL kit. Cell migration and invasion assays were performed using a transwell system with or without Matrigel. RNA-seq, mass spectrometry and luciferase reporter assays were used to identify STK39 binding proteins.Results: Here, we firstly report that STK39 was highly overexpressed in clinical HCC tissues compared with adjacent tissues, high expression of STK39 was induced by transcription factor SP1 and correlated with poor patient survival. Gain and loss of function assays revealed that overexpression of STK39 promoted HCC cell proliferation, migration and invasion. In contrast, the depletion of STK39 attenuated the growth and metastasis of HCC cells. Moreover, knockdown of STK39 induced the HCC cell cycle arrested in the G2/M phase and promoted apoptosis. In mechanistic studies, RNA-seq revealed that STK39 positively regulated the ERK signaling pathway. Mass spectrometry identified that STK39 bound to PLK1 and STK39 promoted HCC progression and activated ERK signaling pathway dependent on PLK1.Conclusions: Thus, our study uncovers a novel role of STK39/PLK1/ERK signaling axis in the progress of HCC and suggests STK39 as an indicator for prognosis and a potential drug target of HCC.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • CYP1A2 suppresses hepatocellular carcinoma through antagonizing HGF/MET
           signaling

    • Authors: Jianqing Yu; Xianfeng Xia, Yujuan Dong, Zhongqin Gong, Gang Li, George Gong Chen, Paul Bo San Lai
      Pages: 2123 - 2136
      Abstract: Rationale: Hyperactivation of HGF/MET signaling pathway is a critical driver in liver tumorigenesis. Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) was significantly down-regulated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, little is explored about its tumor suppressive role in HCC. In this study, we examined the functional mechanisms and clinical implication of CYP1A2 in HCC.Methods: The clinical impact of CYP1A2 was evaluated in HCC patients in Hong Kong cohort. The biological functions of CYP1A2 were investigated in vitro and in vivo. A series of biochemical experiments including Western blot assay, immunohistochemistry, quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, and Co-immunoprecipitation assay were conducted.Results: CYP1A2 expression was prominently silenced in HCC tumor tissues and the high expression of CYP1A2 was significantly correlated with lower AFP level, less vascular invasion, and better tumor-free survival in local cohort of HCC patients. The overexpression of CYP1A2 inhibited HCC cell viability and clonogenicity, reduced cell migration and invasion abilities in vitro, and suppressed tumorigenicity in vivo, whereas CYP1A2 knockdown exhibited the opposite effects. CYP1A2 significantly hindered HGF/MET signaling and Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) expression in HCC cells. Mechanically, CYP1A2 decreased HGF level and diminished HIF-1α expression, both of which are recognized as key regulators of MET activation. As the transcriptional activator of MET, HIF-1α was identified as a binding partner of CYP1A2. Direct binding of CYP1A2 with HIF-1α induced ubiquitin-mediated degradation of HIF-1α, inhibiting HIF-1α-mediated transcriptions.Conclusions: In conclusion, our results have identified CYP1A2 as a novel antagonist of HGF/MET signaling, and CYP1A2 may serve as an independent new biomarker for the prognosis of HCC patients.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • AIE-active two-photon fluorescent nanoprobe with NIR-II light excitability
           for highly efficient deep brain vasculature imaging

    • Authors: Soham Samanta; Meina Huang, Shaoqiang Li, Zhigang Yang, Ying He, Zhenyu Gu, Jianguo Zhang, Dan Zhang, Liwei Liu, Junle Qu
      Pages: 2137 - 2148
      Abstract: Aggregation induced emission (AIE)-active bright two-photon fluorescent probes with second near-infrared (NIR-II) light excitability can be used for efficient brain bioimaging studies, wherein the fabrication of water-dispersible nanoparticles by encapsulating the hydrophobic probes with amphiphilic polymer holds the key to ensuring biocompatibility and in vivo adaptability. However, barely any study has evaluated the structural requirements that can substantially affect the water-dispersible nanoparticle formation ability of an organic AIE-active dye with amphiphilic polymers. The present study systematically assessed the structural dependency of a well-known acrylonitrile based AIE system/fluorogenic core upon the formation of water-dispersible nanoparticles and elucidated how the structural modifications can impact the in vivo two-photon imaging.Methods: A total of four acrylonitrile-based aggregation induced emission (AIE)-active two-photon (TP) fluorescent probes (AIETP, AIETP C1, AIETP C2 and AIETP C3) have been judiciously designed and synthesized with structural variations to realize how the structural alterations could substantially influence the water-dispersible nanoparticle formation ability (with amphiphilic polymers) and photo-stability to impact the in vivo imaging.Results: It has been found that the incorporation of the phenyl-thiazole unit in AIETP, AIETP C2 and AIETP C3 facilitated the formation of water-dispersible nanoparticles (NPs) with amphiphilic polymers (Pluronic F127) whereas the presence of only phenyl moiety instead in AIETP C1 could not meet the suitable condition to form the NPs with good aqueous dispersibility. Rationally designed AIETP NPs that exhibited higher brightness, improved photostability and good two-photon absorption cross section was successfully employed for in vivo brain vasculature imaging.Conclusions: Robust noninvasive 2D and 3D two-photon (NIR-II light, 1040 nm) brain vasculature imaging with beneficial attributes such as outstanding penetration depth (800 µm) and exceptional spatial resolution (1.92 µm), were achieved by utilizing AIETP NPs in this study.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • Intravital imaging of interactions between iNKT and kupffer cells to clear
           free lipids during steatohepatitis

    • Authors: Haitao Wang; Longjun Li, Yinling Li, Yue Li, Yeqin Sha, Shuang Wen, Qiang You, Lixin Liu, Meiqing Shi, Hong Zhou
      Pages: 2149 - 2169
      Abstract: Rationale: Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells and Kupffer cells represent major hepatic populations of innate immune cells. However, their roles in steatohepatitis remain poorly understood. To elucidate their functions in steatohepatitis development, real-time, in vivo analysis is necessary to understand the pathophysiological events in the dynamic interactions between them during diet-induced steatohepatitis.Methods: We used a steatohepatitis animal model induced by a methionine-choline-deficient (MCD) diet. Multi-photon confocal live imaging and conventional experimental techniques were employed to investigate the hepatic pathological microenvironment of iNKT and Kupffer cells, interactions between them, and the biological effects of these interactions in steatohepatitis.Results: We found that iNKT cells were recruited and aggregated into small clusters and interacted dynamically with Kupffer cells in the early stage of steatohepatitis. Most significantly, the iNKT cells in the cluster cleared free lipids released by necrotic hepatocytes and presented a non-classical activation state with high IFN-γ expression. Furthermore, the Kupffer cells in the cell cluster were polarized to type M1. The transcriptome sequencing of iNKT cells showed upregulation of genes related to phagocytosis and lipid processing. Adoptive transfer of iNKT cells to Jα18-/- mice showed that iNKT and Kupffer cell clusters were essential for balancing the liver and peripheral lipid levels and inhibiting liver fibrosis development.Conclusions: Our study identified an essential role for dynamic interactions between iNKT cells and Kupffer cells in promoting lipid phagocytosis and clearance by iNKT cells during early liver steatohepatitis. Therefore, modulating iNKT cells is a potential therapeutic strategy for early steatohepatitis.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • Clinical analysis and pluripotent stem cells-based model reveal possible
           impacts of ACE2 and lung progenitor cells on infants vulnerable to
           COVID-19

    • Authors: Zhao Zhang; Liyan Guo, Xiaoxia Lu, Che Zhang, Li Huang, Xianfeng Wang, Fuyu Duan, Huiying Liang, Peikai Chen, Liang Zeng, Jianbo Shao, Hui Li, Le Li, Li Liu, Cheng Li, Jinqiu Zhang, Chui Yan Ma, Ka Yi Kwan, Wei Liu, Yi Xu, Xiaoqiong Gu, Hua Jiang, Hui Du, Ting Zhang, Yanheng Wu, Guangyin Yu, Junhui Chen, Ruibang Luo, Can Liao, Hung-fat Tse, Zhiwei Chen, Huanhuan Joyce Chen, Huimin Xia, Qizhou Lian
      Pages: 2170 - 2181
      Abstract: Introduction: An increasing number of children with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is being reported, yet the spectrum of disease severity and expression patterns of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in children at different developmental stages are largely unknow.Methods: We analysed clinical features in a cohort of 173 children with COVID-19 (0-15 yrs.-old) between January 22, 2020 and March 15, 2020. We systematically examined the expression and distribution of ACE2 in different developmental stages of children by using a combination of children's lung biopsies, pluripotent stem cell-derived lung cells, RNA-sequencing profiles, and ex vivo SARS-CoV-2 pseudoviral infections.Results: It revealed that infants (< 1yrs.-old), with a weaker potency of immune response, are more vulnerable to develop pneumonia whereas older children (> 1 yrs.-old) are more resistant to lung injury. The expression levels of ACE2 however do not vary by age in children's lung. ACE2 is notably expressed not only in Alveolar Type II (AT II) cells, but also in SOX9 positive lung progenitor cells detected in both pluripotent stem cell derivatives and infants' lungs. The ACE2+SOX9+ cells are readily infected by SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus and the numbers of the double positive cells are significantly decreased in older children.Conclusions: Infants (< 1 yrs.-old) with SARS-CoV-2 infection are more vulnerable to lung injuries. ACE2 expression in multiple types of lung cells including SOX9 positive progenitor cells, in cooperation with an unestablished immune system, could be risk factors contributing to vulnerability of infants with COVID-19. There is a need to continue monitoring lung development in young children who have recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • Silencing PCBP2 normalizes desmoplastic stroma and improves the antitumor
           activity of chemotherapy in pancreatic cancer

    • Authors: Yuanke Li; Zhen Zhao, Chien-Yu Lin, Yanli Liu, Kevin F. Staveley-OCarroll, Guangfu Li, Kun Cheng
      Pages: 2182 - 2200
      Abstract: Rationale: Dense desmoplastic stroma is a fundamental characteristic of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and comprises up to 80% of the tumor mass. Type I collagen is the major component of the extracellular matrix (ECM), which acts as a barrier to impede the delivery of drugs into the tumor microenvironment. While the strategy to deplete PDAC stroma has failed in clinical trials, normalization of the stroma to allow chemotherapy to kill the tumor cells in the “nest” could be a promising strategy for PDAC therapy. We hypothesize that silencing the poly(rC)-binding protein 2 (αCP2, encoded by the PCBP2 gene) leads to the destabilization and normalization of type I collagen in the PDAC stroma.Methods: We develop a micro-flow mixing method to fabricate a peptide-based core-stabilized PCBP2 siRNA nanocomplex to reverse the accumulation of type I collagen in PDAC tumor stroma. Various in vitro studies were performed to evaluate the silencing activity, cellular uptake, serum stability, and tumor penetration of the PCBP2 siRNA nanocomplex. We also investigated the penetration of small molecules in stroma-rich pancreatic cancer spheroids after the treatment with the PCBP2 siRNA nanocomplex. The anti-tumor activity of the PCBP2 siRNA nanocomplex and its combination with gemcitabine was evaluated in an orthotopic stroma-rich pancreatic cancer mouse model.Results: Silencing the PCBP2 gene using siRNA reverses the accumulation of type I collagen in human pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) and mouse NIH 3T3 fibroblast cells. The siRNA nanocomplex significantly reduces ECM production and enhances drug penetration through desmoplastic tumor stroma. The combination of gemcitabine with the PCBP2 siRNA nanocomplex markedly suppresses the tumor progression in a desmoplastic PDAC orthotopic mouse model.Conclusion: This approach provides a new therapeutic avenue to improve the antitumor efficacy of PDAC therapies by normalizing tumor stroma using the PCBP2 siRNA nanocomplex.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • m6A regulator-based methylation modification patterns characterized by
           distinct tumor microenvironment immune profiles in colon cancer

    • Authors: Wei Chong; Liang Shang, Jin Liu, Zhen Fang, Fengying Du, Hao Wu, Yang Liu, Zhe Wang, Yang Chen, Shengtao Jia, Liming Chen, Leping Li, Hao Chen
      Pages: 2201 - 2217
      Abstract: Recent studies have highlighted the biological significance of RNA N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification in tumorigenicity and progression. However, it remains unclear whether m6A modifications also have potential roles in immune regulation and tumor microenvironment (TME) formation.Methods: In this study, we curated 23 m6A regulators and performed consensus molecular subtyping with NMF algorithm to determine m6A modification patterns and the m6A-related gene signature in colon cancer (CC). The ssGSEA and CIBERSORT algorithms were employed to quantify the relative infiltration levels of various immune cell subsets. An PCA algorithm based m6Sig scoring scheme was used to evaluate the m6A modification patterns of individual tumors with an immune response.Results: Three distinct m6A modification patterns were identified among 1307 CC samples, which were also associated with different clinical outcomes and biological pathways. The TME characterization revealed that the identified m6A patterns were highly consistent with three known immune profiles: immune-inflamed, immune-excluded, and immune-desert, respectively. Based on the m6Sig score, which was extracted from the m6A-related signature genes, CC patients can be divided into high and low score subgroups. Patients with lower m6Sig score was characterized by prolonged survival time and enhanced immune infiltration. Further analysis indicated that lower m6Sig score also correlated with greater tumor mutation loads, PD-L1 expression, and higher mutation rates in SMGs (e.g., PIK3CA and SMAD4). In addition, patients with lower m6Sig scores showed a better immune responses and durable clinical benefits in three independent immunotherapy cohorts.Conclusions: This study highlights that m6A modification is significantly associated with TME diversity and complexity. Quantitatively evaluating the m6A modification patterns of individual tumors will strengthen our understanding of TME characteristics and promote more effective immunotherapy strategies.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • Cancer photo-immunotherapy: from bench to bedside

    • Authors: Miao Wang; Jie Rao, Meng Wang, Xiaosong Li, Kaili Liu, Mark F. Naylor, Robert E. Nordquist, Wei R. Chen, Feifan Zhou
      Pages: 2218 - 2231
      Abstract: Targeted therapy and immunotherapy in combination is considered the ideal strategy for treating metastatic cancer, as it can eliminate the primary tumors and induce host immunity to control distant metastases. Phototherapy, a promising targeted therapy, eradicates primary tumors using an appropriate dosage of focal light irradiation, while initiating antitumor immune responses through induced immunogenic tumor cell death. Recently, phototherapy has been employed to improve the efficacy of immunotherapies such as chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy and immune checkpoint inhibitors. Phototherapy and immunoadjuvant therapy have been used in combination clinically, wherein the induced immunogenic cell death and enhanced antigen presentation synergy, inducing a systemic antitumor immune response to control residual tumor cells at the treatment site and distant metastases. This review summarizes studies on photo-immunotherapy, the combination of phototherapy and immunotherapy, especially focusing on the development and progress of this unique combination from a benchtop project to a promising clinical therapy for metastatic cancer.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • Mesenchymal stem cell-mediated immunomodulation of recruited mononuclear
           phagocytes during acute lung injury: a high-dimensional analysis study

    • Authors: Jingqi Liu; Pan Li, Jiaqi Zhu, Feiyan Lin, Jiahang Zhou, Bing Feng, Xinyu Sheng, Xiaowei Shi, Qiaoling Pan, Jiong Yu, Jianqing Gao, Lanjuan Li, Hongcui Cao
      Pages: 2232 - 2246
      Abstract: Rationale: Acute lung injury (ALI)-recruited mononuclear phagocytes play a pivotal role in lung injury and repair. This study investigated the types of recruited mononuclear phagocytes and the immunotherapeutic effects of allograft mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in a mouse model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced ALI.Methods: C57BL/6 mice were orotracheally instilled with LPS (20 mg/kg). Compact bone-derived MSCs were administered orotracheally 4 h after LPS inhalation. Mononuclear phagocytes recruited in the lung tissues were characterized at different timepoints by high-dimensional analysis including flow cytometry, mass cytometry, and single-cell RNA sequencing.Results: Eight mononuclear phagocyte subsets recruited to LPS-challenged lungs were precisely identified. On day 3 after LPS administration, both Ly6ChiCD38+ and Ly6ClowCD38+ monocytes were recruited into acutely injured lungs, which was associated with increased secretion of neutrophil chemokines. Ly6ChiCD38+ monocytes differentiated into M1 macrophages on day 3, and subsequently differentiated into CD38+ monocyte-derived dendritic cells (mo-DCs) on day 7, while Ly6ClowCD38+ monocytes differentiated into CD11b+CD38+ DCs on day 7. When ALI mice were treated with MSCs, the mortality significantly reduced. Notably, MSCs reduced the amount of M1 macrophages and reduced the secretion of neutrophil chemokines on day 3. Furthermore, MSCs reduced the number of CD38+ mo-DCs and CD11b+CD38+ DCs on day 7, suppressing the antigen presentation process. Recruited mononuclear phagocyte subsets with a high level of CD38 exhibited an activated phenotype and could secrete higher levels of cytokines and chemokines.Conclusions: This study characterized the dynamic functions and phenotypes of recruited mononuclear phagocytes in ALI mice and MSC-treated ALI mice.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • Activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor regulates insulin sensitivity
           and lipid metabolism

    • Authors: Xiao-Ting Huang; Jun-Xiao Yang, Zun Wang, Chen-Yu Zhang, Zi-Qiang Luo, Wei Liu, Si-Yuan Tang
      Pages: 2247 - 2262
      Abstract: Rationale: Although significant progress has been made in understanding the mechanisms of steatosis and insulin resistance, the physiological functions of regulators in these processes remain largely elusive. Evidence has suggested that the glutamate/N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR) axis contributes to acute lung injury, pulmonary arterial hypertension, and diabetes, but the specific metabolic contribution of the glutamate/NMDAR axis is not clear. Here we provide data at the animal, cellular, and molecular levels to support the role of the glutamate/NMDAR axis as a therapeutic target for metabolic syndrome in obesity.Methods: We examined the glutamate level in the obese mouse induced by a high-fat diet (HFD) for 12 weeks. To assess the role of NMDAR in insulin sensitivity and lipid metabolism, we tested the effects of Memantine (an NMDAR antagonist) and NMDA (an NMDAR agonist) on mice fed with HFD or standard chow diet. The in vitros NMDAR roles were analyzed in hepatocytes and potential mechanisms involved in regulating lipid metabolism were investigated.Results: Glutamate was increased in the serum of HFD-treated mice. The NMDAR blockade by Memantine decreased the susceptibility to insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis in obese mice. NMDA treatment for 6 months induced obesity in mice, characterized by hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, insulin resistance, and pathological changes in the liver. We provided in vitro evidence demonstrating that NMDAR activation facilitated metabolic syndrome in obesity through promoting lipid accumulation. NMDAR inhibition attenuated lipid accumulation induced by palmitic acid. Mechanistically, NMDAR activation impaired fatty acid oxidation by reducing PPARα phosphorylation and activity. The PPARα activity reduction induced by NMDAR activation was reversibly mediated by ERK1/2 signaling.Conclusion: These findings revealed that targeting NMDAR might be a promising therapeutic strategy for metabolic syndrome in obesity.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • Targeted delivery of extracellular vesicles in heart injury

    • Authors: Peier Chen; Ling Wang, Xianglin Fan, Xiaodong Ning, Bin Yu, Caiwen Ou, Minsheng Chen
      Pages: 2263 - 2277
      Abstract: Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nanoscale extracellular vesicles derived from endocytosis that are crucial to intercellular communication. EVs possess natural biocompatibility and stability that allow them to cross biological membranes and that protect them from degradation. Recent studies have shown that EVs-mediated crosstalk between different cell types in the heart could play important roles in the maintenance of cardiac homeostasis and the pathogenesis of heart diseases. In particular, EVs secreted by different types of stem cells exhibit cardioprotective effects. However, numerous studies have shown that intravenously injected EVs are quickly cleared by macrophages of the mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS) and preferentially accumulate in MPS organs such as the liver, spleen, and lung. In this review, we discuss exosome biogenesis, the role of EVs in heart diseases, and challenges in delivering EVs to the heart. Furthermore, we extensively discuss the targeted delivery of EVs for treating ischemic heart disease. These understandings will aid in the development of effective treatment strategies for heart diseases.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • A blood circulation-prolonging peptide anchored biomimetic phage-platelet
           hybrid nanoparticle system for prolonged blood circulation and optimized
           anti-bacterial performance

    • Authors: Peipei Jin; Liansheng Wang, Rui Sha, Liu Liu, Jieying Qian, Nestor Ishimwe, Wenbin Zhang, Jing Qian, Yunjiao Zhang, Longping Wen
      Pages: 2278 - 2296
      Abstract: Phage therapy holds great promise for resolving the ever-worsening crisis of antibiotic resistance, but it also faces many challenges. One of the issues hampering phage therapy is the short blood residence time of bacteriophages. We have previously identified, through in vivo phage display, a blood circulation-prolonging peptide (BCP1) that was capable of significantly prolonging the blood retention time of a doxorubicin-loaded human ferritin nanocage, leading to enhanced therapeutic efficacy against tumors. Herein, we aimed to extend the application of BCP1 to anti-bacterial phage therapy.Methods: A genetically engineered M13 phage, BCP1-BGL, that displayed the BCP-1 peptide and expressed the restriction endonuclease Bgl II, was constructed. Taking advantage of the fact that BCP1 harbors an RGD motif (a three amino-acid sequence Arg-Gly-Asp with the ability to bind to integrins) and exerts its circulation-prolonging activity primarily through interaction with platelets, we further designed and fabricated a biomimetic phage-platelet hybrid nanoparticle (PPHN) via the physical binding of the BCP1-BGL phage to the platelet membrane nanoparticles derived via a repeated freeze-thaw procedure. A series of experiments in vitro and in vivo were conducted to reveal the long circulation and anti-bacterial capacities of BCP1-BGL phages and PPHNs.Results: The resulting PPHNs possessed a hydrodynamic size of 368 nm in deionized water, with each spherical membranous nanoparticle harboring approximately 12 rod-shaped phage particles stably bound to its surface. PPHNs, which were superior to the BCP1-BGL phages that displayed significantly prolonged anti-bacterial action in vivo against Escherichia coli infection, exhibited further extended blood retention time and optimal anti-bacterial performance in both the prophylactic and treatment approaches.Conclusion: Our work demonstrated a novel strategy in engineering biomimetic phage-based nanoparticles with improved blood retention and anti-bacterial performance and may have implications in phage therapy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • CCL16 maintains stem cell-like properties in breast cancer by activating
           CCR2/GSK3β/β-catenin/OCT4 axis

    • Authors: Wenzhi Shen; Xiaoyuan Zhang, Jiaping Tang, Zhixin Zhang, Renle Du, Dehong Luo, Xiaoran Liu, Yong Xia, Yanping Li, Shanshan Wang, Siyuan Yan, Wancai Yang, Rong Xiang, Na Luo, Yunping Luo, Jianjun Li
      Pages: 2297 - 2317
      Abstract: Rationale: Considerable evidence suggests that breast cancer metastasis and recurrence occur due to emergence of cancer stem cells (CSCs). In our previous study, we designed a high-throughput siRNA screening platform that identifies inflammation genes involved in the regulation of cancer cell stemness. We reported that CCL16 protein decreases OCT4 expression and reduces the ALDH+ subpopulation. However, the mechanism by which CCL16 maintains stem cell-like properties remains unclear.Methods: Tissue microarrays were used to evaluate CCL16 expression. Cancer stemness assays were performed in CCL16 knockdown and overexpressing cells in vitro and in a xenograft model in vivo. Human phosphokinase array, immunofluorescence and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays were performed to explore the underlying mechanism.Results: We report that CCL16 was overexpressed in breast tumors and significantly correlated with clinical progression. We found that silencing CCL16 in MDA-MB-231 and BT549 cells diminished CSC properties including ALDH+ subpopulation, side population, chemo-resistance, and sphere formation. Furthermore, mice bearing CCL16-silenced MDA-MB-231 xenografts had lower tumorigenic frequency and developed smaller tumors. Exploration of the underlying mechanism found that CCL16 selects CCR2 to activate p-AKT/GSK3β signaling and facilitate β-catenin nuclear translocation. Further, CCL16 binds to the OCT4 promoter and promotes OCT4 expression. In addition, shRNAs targeting CCR2 and XAV939 targeting β-catenin abolished CCL16-mediated cancer stemness. Upstream, IL10 mediates STAT3 activation, which binds to the CCL16 promoter and enhances its expression. The STAT3-targeted inhibitor Stattic suppressed CCL16 expression in vitro and restrained tumor progression in vivo.Conclusions: We identified a potential CSC regulator and suggest a novel mechanism for how CCL16 governs cancer cell stemness. We propose that CCL16 could be an effective target for breast cancer therapy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • Hypermethylation of GNA14 and its tumor-suppressive role in hepatitis B
           virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma

    • Authors: Guangyuan Song; Xingxin Zhu, Zefeng Xuan, Long Zhao, Haijiang Dong, Jian Chen, Zequn Li, Wenfeng Song, Cheng Jin, Mengqiao Zhou, Haiyang Xie, Shusen Zheng, Penghong Song
      Pages: 2318 - 2333
      Abstract: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most lethal cancers worldwide, and its specific mechanism has not been fully elucidated. Inactivation of tumor suppressors may contribute to the occurrence, progression, and recurrence of HCC. DNA methylation is a crucial mechanism involved in regulating the occurrence of HCC. Herein, we aimed to identify the key methylation-related tumor suppressors as well as potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets in HCC.Methods: Combined analysis of TCGA and GEO databases was performed to obtain potential methylation-related tumor suppressors in HCC. Methyl-target sequencing was performed to analyze the methylation level of the GNA14 promoter. The diagnostic value of GNA14 as a predictor of HCC was evaluated in HCC tumor samples and compared with normal tissues. The functional role of GNA14 and its upstream and downstream regulatory factors were investigated by gain-of-function and loss-of-function assays in vitro. Subcutaneous tumorigenesis, lung colonization, and orthotopic liver tumor model were performed to analyze the role of GNA14 in vivo.Results: The expression of GNA14 was found to be downregulated in HCC and it was negatively correlated with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, vascular invasion, and prognosis of HCC. DNA methylation was demonstrated to be responsible for the altered expression of GNA14 and was regulated by HBV-encoded X protein (HBx). GNA14 regulated the RB pathway by promoting Notch1 cleavage to inhibit tumor proliferation, and might inhibit tumor metastasis by inhibiting the expression of JMJD6.Conclusion: GNA14 could be regulated by HBx by modulating the methylation status of its promoter. We identified GNA14 as a potential biomarker and therapeutic target for HCC.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • Eradication of solid tumors by chemodynamic theranostics with
           H2O2-catalyzed hydroxyl radical burst

    • Authors: Nana Wang; Qin Zeng, Ruijing Zhang, Da Xing, Tao Zhang
      Pages: 2334 - 2348
      Abstract: Activatable theranostics, integrating high diagnostic accuracy and significant therapeutic effect, holds great potential for personalized cancer treatments; however, their chemodynamic modality is rarely exploited. Herein, we report a new in situ activatable chemodynamic theranostics PAsc/Fe@Cy7QB to specifically recognize and eradicate cancer cells with H2O2-catalyzed hydroxyl radical (•OH) burst cascade.Methods: The nanomicelles PAsc/Fe@Cy7QB were constructed by self-assembly of acid-responsive copolymers incorporating ascorbates and acid-sensitive Schiff base-Fe2+ complexes as well as H2O2-responsive adjuvant Cy7QB.Results: Upon systematic delivery of PAsc/Fe@Cy7QB into cancer cells, the acidic microenvironment triggered disassembly of the nanomicelles. The released Fe2+ catalyzed the oxidation of ascorbate monoanion (AscH-) to efficiently produce H2O2. The released H2O2, together with the endogenous H2O2, could be converted into highly active •OH via the Fenton reaction, resulting in enhanced Fe-mediated T1 magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The synchronously released Cy7QB was activated by H2O2 to produce a glutathione (GSH)-scavenger quinone methide to boost the •OH yield and recover the Cy7 dye for fluorescence and photoacoustic imaging.Conclusion: The biodegradable PAsc/Fe@Cy7QB designed for tumor-selective multimodal imaging and high therapeutic effect provides an exemplary paradigm for precise chemodynamic theranostic.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • An electroporation strategy to synthesize the membrane-coated
           nanoparticles for enhanced anti-inflammation therapy in bone infection

    • Authors: Miusi Shi; Kailun Shen, Bin Yang, Peng Zhang, Kangle Lv, Haoning Qi, Yunxiao Wang, Mei Li, Quan Yuan, Yufeng Zhang
      Pages: 2349 - 2363
      Abstract: The cell membrane-coated nanoparticles (MNPs) showed great potential in treating infectious disease due to their superior biofunctions in improving biocompatibility of nanoparticles and neutralization of pathogen or toxins. However, bone infection is accompanied with severe inflammation and bone loss, which also requires anti-inflammatory and osteoconductive treatment. The conventional membrane coating method has to undergo ultrasonication and extrusion procedures, which reduces the functionality of cell membrane and limits the choice of nanoparticles. In this study, we proposed an electroporation-based membrane coating strategy to facilitate the synthesis of MNPs to tackle those problems.Methods: Magnetic composite nanoparticles with osteoconductive Ca3(PO4)2 and bactericidal TiO2 were assembled into macrophages through phagocytosis and then collected to expose in electric field for obtaining macrophage membrane-coating nanoparticles. By using molecular dynamics simulation and materials characterizations, the cell membrane coating efficiency was confirmed. The in vitro anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory abilities were tested by bacteria culturing and immune cells activation. Then drug-resistant bacteria induced bone infection model was established to verify its in vivo therapeutic effects.Results: The coated membrane prepared through electroporation reserved the integrality of membrane structure and right-sidedness, with more functional proteins. Those led to the superior properties of recognition and adsorption with bacteria, toxins and inflammatory cytokines. Owing to the benefits of electroporation, the MNPs exhibited significant better antibacterial and anti-inflammatory abilities for enhancing the tissue repair process.Conclusion: This study provides a novel self-assembly cell membrane coating strategy by electroporation to construct multifunctional membrane-coating nanoparticles for bone infection treatment. This strategy not only improves the functions of coated membrane, but is also proved to be universal for varies nanoparticles or cells, indicating a great potential for future applications in the bioengineering field.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • Endocytic pathway inhibition attenuates extracellular vesicle-induced
           reduction of chemosensitivity to bortezomib in multiple myeloma cells

    • Authors: Chenggong Tu; Zhimin Du, Hui Zhang, Yueyuan Feng, Yujun Qi, Yongjiang Zheng, Jinbao Liu, Jinheng Wang
      Pages: 2364 - 2380
      Abstract: Extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes and microvesicles, derived from bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) have been demonstrated as key factors in the progression and drug resistance of multiple myeloma (MM). EV uptake involves a variety of mechanisms which largely depend on the vesicle origin and recipient cell type. The aim of the present study was to identify the mechanisms involved in the uptake of BMSC-derived small EVs (sEVs) by MM cells, and to evaluate the anti-MM effect of targeting this process.Methods: Human BMSC-derived sEVs were identified by transmission electron microscopy, nanoparticle tracking analysis, and western blot. The effects of chemical inhibitors and shRNA-mediated knockdown of endocytosis-associated genes on sEV uptake and cell apoptosis were analyzed by flow cytometry. The anti-MM effect of blocking sEV uptake was evaluated in vitro and in a xenograft MM mouse model.Results: sEVs derived from BMSC were taken up by MM cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner, and subsequently promoted MM cell cycling and reduced their chemosensitivity to bortezomib. Chemical endocytosis inhibitors targeting heparin sulphate proteoglycans, actin, tyrosine kinase, dynamin-2, sodium/proton exchangers, or phosphoinositide 3-kinases significantly reduced MM cell internalization of BMSC-derived sEVs. Moreover, shRNA-mediated knockdown of endocytosis-associated proteins, including caveolin-1, flotillin-1, clathrin heavy chain, and dynamin-2 in MM cells suppressed sEV uptake. Furthermore, an endocytosis inhibitor targeting dynamin-2 preferentially suppressed the uptake of sEV by primary MM cells ex vivo and enhanced the anti-MM effects of bortezomib in vitro and in a mouse model.Conclusion: Clathrin- and caveolin-dependent endocytosis and macropinocytosis are the predominant routes of sEV-mediated communication between BMSCs and MM cells, and inhibiting endocytosis attenuates sEV-induced reduction of chemosensitivity to bortezomib, and thus enhances its anti-MM properties.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • Multi-omics study of silicosis reveals the potential therapeutic targets
           PGD2 and TXA2

    • Authors: Junling Pang; Xianmei Qi, Ya Luo, Xiaona Li, Ting Shu, Baicun Li, Meiyue Song, Ying Liu, Dong Wei, Jingyu Chen, Jing Wang, Chen Wang
      Pages: 2381 - 2394
      Abstract: Rationale: Silicosis is a severe occupational lung disease. Current treatments for silicosis have highly limited availability (i.e., lung transplantation) or, do not effectively prolong patient survival time (i.e., lung lavage). There is thus an urgent clinical need for effective drugs to retard the progression of silicosis.Methods: To systematically characterize the molecular changes associated with silicosis and to discover potential therapeutic targets, we conducted a transcriptomics analysis of human lung tissues acquired during transplantation, which was integrated with transcriptomics and metabolomics analyses of silicosis mouse lungs. The results from the multi-omics analyses were then verified by qPCR, western blot, and immunohistochemistry. The effect of Ramatroban on the progression of silicosis was evaluated in a silica-induced mouse model.Results: Wide metabolic alterations were found in lungs from both human patients and mice with silicosis. Targeted metabolite quantification and validation of expression of their synthases revealed that arachidonic acid (AA) pathway metabolites, prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) and thromboxane A2 (TXA2), were significantly up-regulated in silicosis lungs. We further examined the effect of Ramatroban, a clinical antagonist of both PGD2 and TXA2 receptors, on treating silicosis using a mouse model. The results showed that Ramatroban significantly alleviated silica-induced pulmonary inflammation, fibrosis, and cardiopulmonary dysfunction compared with the control group.Conclusion: Our results revealed the importance of AA metabolic reprogramming, especially PGD2 and TXA2 in the progression of silicosis. By blocking the receptors of these two prostanoids, Ramatroban may be a novel potential therapeutic drug to inhibit the progression of silicosis.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • Inhibition of miR-331-3p and miR-9-5p ameliorates Alzheimer's disease by
           enhancing autophagy

    • Authors: Meng-Lu Chen; Chun-Gu Hong, Tao Yue, Hong-Ming Li, Ran Duan, Wen-Bao Hu, Jia Cao, Zhen-Xing Wang, Chun-Yuan Chen, Xiong-Ke Hu, Ben Wu, Hao-Ming Liu, Yi-Juan Tan, Jiang-Hua Liu, Zhong-Wei Luo, Yan Zhang, Shan-Shan Rao, Ming-Jie Luo, Hao Yin, Yi-Yi Wang, Kun Xia, Si-Yuan Tang, Hui Xie, Zheng-Zhao Liu
      Pages: 2395 - 2409
      Abstract: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is currently ranked as the third leading cause of death for eldly people, just behind heart disease and cancer. Autophagy is declined with aging. Our study determined the biphasic changes of miR-331-3p and miR-9-5p associated with AD progression in APPswe/PS1dE9 mouse model and demonstrated inhibiting miR-331-3p and miR-9-5p treatment prevented AD progression by promoting the autophagic clearance of amyloid beta (Aβ).Methods: The biphasic changes of microRNAs were obtained from RNA-seq data and verified by qRT-PCR in early-stage (6 months) and late-stage (12 months) APPswe/PS1dE9 mice (hereinafter referred to as AD mice). The AD progression was determined by analyzing Aβ levels, neuron numbers (MAP2+) and activated microglia (CD68+IBA1+) in brain tissues using immunohistological and immunofluorescent staining. MRNA and protein levels of autophagic-associated genes (Becn1, Sqstm1, LC3b) were tested to determine the autophagic activity. Morris water maze and object location test were employed to evaluate the memory and learning after antagomirs treatments in AD mice and the Aβ in the brain tissues were determined.Results: MiR-331-3p and miR-9-5p are down-regulated in early-stage of AD mice, whereas up-regulated in late-stage of AD mice. We demonstrated that miR-331-3p and miR-9-5p target autophagy receptors Sequestosome 1 (Sqstm1) and Optineurin (Optn), respectively. Overexpression of miR-331-3p and miR-9-5p in SH-SY5Y cell line impaired autophagic activity and promoted amyloid plaques formation. Moreover, AD mice had enhanced Aβ clearance, improved cognition and mobility when treated with miR-331-3p and miR-9-5p antagomirs at late-stage.Conclusion: Our study suggests that using miR-331-3p and miR-9-5p, along with autophagic activity and amyloid plaques may distinguish early versus late stage of AD for more accurate and timely diagnosis. Additionally, we further provide a possible new therapeutic strategy for AD patients by inhibiting miR-331-3p and miR-9-5p and enhancing autophagy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • Platelet-derived microvesicles induce calcium oscillations and promote
           VSMC migration via TRPV4

    • Authors: Shan-Shan Li; Shuang Gao, Yi Chen, Han Bao, Zi-Tong Li, Qing-Ping Yao, Ji-Ting Liu, Yingxiao Wang, Ying-Xin Qi
      Pages: 2410 - 2423
      Abstract: Rationale: Abnormal migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) from the media to the interior is a critical process during the intimal restenosis caused by vascular injury. Here, we determined the role of platelet-derived microvesicles (PMVs) released by activated platelets in VSMC migration.Methods: A percutaneous transluminal angioplasty balloon dilatation catheter was used to establish vascular intimal injury. Collagen I was used to activate PMVs, mimicking collagen exposure during intimal injury. To determine the effects of PMVs on VSMC migration in vitro, scratch wound healing assays were performed. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer was used to detect variations of calcium dynamics in VSMCs.Results: Morphological results showed that neointimal hyperplasia was markedly increased after balloon injury of the carotid artery in rats, and the main component was VSMCs. PMVs significantly promoted single cell migration and wound closure in vitro. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer revealed that PMVs induced temporal and dynamic calcium oscillations in the cytoplasms of VSMCs. The influx of extracellular calcium, but not calcium from intracellular stores, was involved in the process described above. The channel antagonist GSK219 and specific siRNA revealed that a membrane calcium channel, transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4), participated in the calcium oscillations and VSMC migration induced by PMVs.Conclusions: TRPV4 participated in the calcium oscillations and VSMC migration induced by PMVs. PMVs and the related molecules might be novel therapeutic targets for vascular remodeling during vascular injury.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • Inhibitory effect of PPARγ on NLRP3 inflammasome activation

    • Authors: Ching-Chun Yang; Chih-Hsing Wu, Ta-Chun Lin, Yi-Ning Cheng, Chin-Sung Chang, Kuo-Ting Lee, Pei-Jane Tsai, Yau-Sheng Tsai
      Pages: 2424 - 2441
      Abstract: Rationale: Stimulation of the NLRP3 inflammasome by metabolic byproducts is known to result in inflammatory responses and metabolic diseases. However, how the host controls aberrant NLRP3 inflammasome activation remains unclear. PPARγ, a known regulator of energy metabolism, plays an anti-inflammatory role through the inhibition of NF-κB activation and additionally attenuates NLRP3-dependent IL-1β and IL-18 production. Therefore, we hypothesized that PPARγ serves as an endogenous modulator that attenuates NLRP3 inflammasome activation in macrophages.Methods: Mouse peritoneal macrophages with exposure to a PPARγ agonist at different stages and the NLRP3 inflammasome-reconstituted system in HEK293T cells were used to investigate the additional anti-inflammatory effect of PPARγ on NLRP3 inflammasome regulation. Circulating mononuclear cells of obese patients with weight-loss surgery were used to identify the in vivo correlation between PPARγ and the NLRP3 inflammasome.Results: Exposure to the PPARγ agonist, rosiglitazone, during the second signal of NLRP3 inflammasome activation attenuated caspase-1 and IL-1β maturation. Moreover, PPARγ interfered with NLRP3 inflammasome formation by decreasing NLRP3-ASC and NLRP3-NLRP3 interactions as well as NLRP3-dependent ASC oligomerization, which is mediated through interaction between the PPARγ DNA-binding domain and the nucleotide-binding and leucine-rich repeat domains of NLRP3. Furthermore, PPARγ was required to limit metabolic damage-associated molecular pattern-induced NLRP3 inflammasome activation in mouse macrophages. Finally, the mature caspase-1/PPARγ ratio was reduced in circulating mononuclear cells of obese patients after weight-loss surgery, which we define as an “NLRP3 accelerating index”.Conclusions: These results revealed an additional anti-inflammatory role for PPARγ in suppressing NLRP3 inflammasome activation through interaction with NLRP3. Thus, our study highlights that PPARγ agonism may be a therapeutic option for targeting NLRP3-related metabolic diseases.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • Cisplatin prevents breast cancer metastasis through blocking early EMT and
           retards cancer growth together with paclitaxel

    • Authors: Haitao Wang; Sen Guo, Seung-Jin Kim, Fangyuan Shao, Joshua Wing Kei Ho, Kuan Un Wong, Zhengqiang Miao, Dapeng Hao, Ming Zhao, Jun Xu, Jianming Zeng, Koon Ho Wong, Lijun Di, Ada Hang-Heng Wong, Xiaoling Xu, Chu-Xia Deng
      Pages: 2442 - 2459
      Abstract: Cancer growth is usually accompanied by metastasis which kills most cancer patients. Here we aim to study the effect of cisplatin at different doses on breast cancer growth and metastasis.Methods: We used cisplatin to treat breast cancer cells, then detected the migration of cells and the changes of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers by migration assay, Western blot, and immunofluorescent staining. Next, we analyzed the changes of RNA expression of genes by RNA-seq and confirmed the binding of activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) to cytoskeleton related genes by ChIP-seq. Thereafter, we combined cisplatin and paclitaxel in a neoadjuvant setting to treat xenograft mouse models. Furthermore, we analyzed the association of disease prognosis with cytoskeletal genes and ATF3 by clinical data analysis.Results: When administered at a higher dose (6 mg/kg), cisplatin inhibits both cancer growth and metastasis, yet with strong side effects, whereas a lower dose (2 mg/kg) cisplatin blocks cancer metastasis without obvious killing effects. Cisplatin inhibits cancer metastasis through blocking early steps of EMT. It antagonizes transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) signaling through suppressing transcription of many genes involved in cytoskeleton reorganization and filopodia formation which occur early in EMT and are responsible for cancer metastasis. Mechanistically, TGFβ and fibronectin-1 (FN1) constitute a positive reciprocal regulation loop that is critical for activating TGFβ/SMAD3 signaling, which is repressed by cisplatin induced expression of ATF3. Furthermore, neoadjuvant administration of cisplatin at 2 mg/kg in conjunction with paclitaxel inhibits cancer growth and blocks metastasis without causing obvious side effects by inhibiting colonization of cancer cells in the target organs.Conclusion: Thus, cisplatin prevents breast cancer metastasis through blocking early EMT, and the combination of cisplatin and paclitaxel represents a promising therapy for killing breast cancer and blocking tumor metastasis.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • NEK9, a novel effector of IL-6/STAT3, regulates metastasis of gastric
           cancer by targeting ARHGEF2 phosphorylation

    • Authors: Guofang Lu; Siyuan Tian, Yi Sun, Jiaqiang Dong, Na Wang, Jiaoxia Zeng, Yongzhan Nie, Kaichun Wu, Ying Han, Bin Feng, Yulong Shang
      Pages: 2460 - 2474
      Abstract: Rationale: Inflammatory stimuli from the tumor microenvironment play important roles in cancer progression. However, the mechanism of promotion of cancer metastasis by inflammation in gastric cancer (GC) is poorly understood.Methods: The roles of NEK9 were validated via loss-of-function and gain-of-function experiments in vitro and in an animal model of metastasis. Cytoskeletal reorganization-associated molecules were detected by GST pull-down. The regulation of ARHGEF2 by NEK9 was investigated by phosphoproteomics analysis, immunoprecipitation (IP) and in vitro kinase assay. The transcriptional regulation of miR-520f-3p was studied using luciferase reporter and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP). The expression of these proteins in GC tissues was examined by immunohistochemistry.Results: NEK9 directly regulates cell motility and RhoA activation in GC. The phosphorylation of ARHGEF2 by NEK9 is the key step of this process. NEK9 is a direct target of miR-520f-3p, which is transcriptionally suppressed by IL-6-mediated activation of STAT3. A decrease in miR-520f-3p leads to the amplification of IL-6/STAT3 by targeting GP130. A simultaneous elevation of the levels of NEK9, GP130 and p-STAT3 was confirmed in the lymph nodes and distant metastases. An increase in NEK9, GP130 and STAT3 is associated with reduced overall survival of GC patients.Conclusion: This study demonstrates that activation of STAT3 by IL-6 transcriptionally suppresses miR-520f-3p and diminishes the inhibitory effects of miR-520f-3p on NEK9 and GP130. An increase in GP130 enhances this signaling, and NEK9 directly influences cell motility and RhoA activation by targeting the phosphorylation of ARHGEF2. Targeting the IL-6-STAT3-NEK9 pathway may be a new strategy for GC treatment.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • Co-delivery of 5-fluorouracil and miRNA-34a mimics by host-guest
           self-assembly nanocarriers for efficacious targeted therapy in colorectal
           cancer patient-derived tumor xenografts

    • Authors: Jianbin Xu; Guolin Zhang, Xin Luo, Di Wang, Wei Zhou, Yan Zhang, Wei Zhang, Jiaxin Chen, Qing Meng, Engeng Chen, Heng Chen, Zhangfa Song
      Pages: 2475 - 2489
      Abstract: Rationale: A co-delivery system that can transport chemotherapeutic drugs and nucleotide drugs to distinct targets in tumors is an attractive strategy for cancer therapy. In this study, well-defined targeted quantum dot (QD)-based multifunctional nanocarriers were developed through self-assembly driven by host-guest interactions. 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and microRNA-34a mimics (miR-34a(m)) were co-administered to achieve synergistic effects for colorectal cancer (CRC) therapy for the first time. Furthermore, the CRC patient-derived tumor xenograft (PDX) model, which closely mimics human CRC tumor pathological properties, was used for evaluating the therapeutic effect in this research.Methods: Multiple β-cyclodextrin (CD)-attached QD nanoparticles were used as host molecules. An adamantane (ADA)-modified TCP1 peptide-targeting ligand (TCP1) was used as the guest molecule. 5-FU and miR-34a(m) were loaded into TCP1-CD-QD nanocarriers, which were used to treat CRC in vitro and in vivo. In addition, the CRC PDX model was used to evaluate the treatment efficacy of this co-delivery system.Results: 5-FU and miR-34a(m) can be efficiently encapsulated into TCP1-CD-QD nanocarriers and delivered into CRC cells, which led to the inhibition of the proliferation and migration of CRC cells in vitro and suppression of tumor growth in a CRC cell-derived tumor xenograft model. The obtained data further suggested that co-delivery of 5-FU and miR-34a(m) could achieve synergistic effects for CRC therapy. Notably, targeted therapy via the co-delivery of 5-FU and miR-34a(m) by TCP1-CD-QD nanocarriers significantly inhibited the growth of PDX tumors.Conclusions: These studies strongly indicate that such a nanocarrier-based co-delivery system is a promising combined therapeutic strategy that utilizes chemotherapeutic drugs and nucleotide drugs for enhancing colorectal cancer targeting and synergistic therapy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 5 (2021)
       
  • Photosensitizer-based multimodal PSMA-targeting ligands for intraoperative
           detection of prostate cancer

    • Authors: Yvonne H.W. Derks; Mark Rijpkema, Helene I.V. Amatdjais-Groenen, Annemarie Kip, Gerben M. Franssen, J. P. Michiel Sedelaar, Diederik M. Somford, Michiel Simons, Peter Laverman, Martin Gotthardt, Dennis W. P. M. Löwik, Susanne Lütje, Sandra Heskamp
      Pages: 1527 - 1541
      Abstract: Incomplete resection of prostate cancer (PCa) occurs in 15%-50% of PCa patients. Disease recurrence negatively impacts oncological outcome. The use of radio-, fluorescent-, or photosensitizer-labeled ligands to target the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) has become a well-established method for the detection and treatment of PCa.Methods: Here, we developed and characterized multimodal [111In]In-DOTA(GA)-IRDye700DX-PSMA ligands, varying in their molecular composition, for use in intraoperative radiodetection, fluorescence imaging and targeted photodynamic therapy of PCa lesions. PSMA-specificity of these ligands was determined in xenograft tumor models and on fresh human PCa biopsies.Results: Ligand structure optimization showed that addition of the photosensitizer (IRDye700DX) and additional negative charges significantly increased ligand uptake in PSMA-expressing tumors. Moreover, an ex vivo incubation study on human tumor biopsies confirmed the PSMA-specificity of these ligands on human samples, bridging the gap to the clinical situation.Conclusion: We developed a novel PSMA-targeting ligand, optimized for multimodal image-guided PCa surgery combined with targeted photodynamic therapy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Ascorbic acid induced HepG2 cells' apoptosis via intracellular reductive
           stress: Erratum

    • Authors: Xiaonan Gao; Keyan Wei, Bo Hu, Kehua Xu, Bo Tang
      Pages: 1542 - 1542
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Blood TfR+ exosomes separated by a pH-responsive method deliver
           chemotherapeutics for tumor therapy: Erratum

    • Authors: Lijun Yang; Donglin Han, Qi Zhan, Xueping Li, Peipei Shan, Yunjie Hu, Han Ding, Yu Wang, Lei Zhang, Yuan Zhang, Sheng Xue, Jin Zhao, Xin Hou, Yin Wang, Peifeng Li, Xubo Yuan, Hongzhao Qi
      Pages: 1543 - 1545
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Nanomedicine of tyrosine kinase inhibitors

    • Authors: Veronika Smidova; Petr Michalek, Zita Goliasova, Tomas Eckschlager, Petr Hodek, Vojtech Adam, Zbynek Heger
      Pages: 1546 - 1567
      Abstract: Recent progress in nanomedicine and targeted therapy brings new breeze into the field of therapeutic applications of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). These drugs are known for many side effects due to non-targeted mechanism of action that negatively impact quality of patients' lives or that are responsible for failure of the drugs in clinical trials. Some nanocarrier properties provide improvement of drug efficacy, reduce the incidence of adverse events, enhance drug bioavailability, helps to overcome the blood-brain barrier, increase drug stability or allow for specific delivery of TKIs to the diseased cells. Moreover, nanotechnology can bring new perspectives into combination therapy, which can be highly efficient in connection with TKIs. Lastly, nanotechnology in combination with TKIs can be utilized in the field of theranostics, i.e. for simultaneous therapeutic and diagnostic purposes. The review provides a comprehensive overview of advantages and future prospects of conjunction of nanotransporters with TKIs as a highly promising approach to anticancer therapy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • The twin cytokines interleukin-34 and CSF-1: masterful conductors of
           macrophage homeostasis

    • Authors: Javier Muñoz-Garcia; Denis Cochonneau, Stéphane Télétchéa, Emilie Moranton, Didier Lanoe, Régis Brion, Frédéric Lézot, Marie-Françoise Heymann, Dominique Heymann
      Pages: 1568 - 1593
      Abstract: Macrophages are specialized cells that control tissue homeostasis. They include non-resident and tissue-resident macrophage populations which are characterized by the expression of particular cell surface markers and the secretion of molecules with a wide range of biological functions. The differentiation and polarization of macrophages relies on specific growth factors and their receptors. Macrophage-colony stimulating factor (CSF-1) and interleukine-34 (IL-34), also known as “twin” cytokines, are part of this regluatory landscape. CSF-1 and IL-34 share a common receptor, the macrophage-colony stimulating factor receptor (CSF-1R), which is activated in a similar way by both factors and turns on identical signaling pathways. However, there is some discrete differential activation leading to specific activities. In this review, we disscuss recent progress in understanding of the role of the twin cytokines in macrophage differentiation, from their interaction with CSF-1R and the activation of signaling pathways, to their implication in macrophage polarization of non-resident and tissue-resident macrophages. A special focus on IL-34, its involvement in pathophsyiological contexts, and its potential as a theranostic target for macrophage therapy will be proposed.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Spleen plays a major role in DLL4-driven acute T-cell lymphoblastic
           leukemia

    • Authors: Huizhong Xiong; Maicol Mancini, Michael Gobert, Shiqian Shen, Glaucia C. Furtado, Sergio A. Lira, Christopher N. Parkhurst, Veronique Garambois, Muriel Brengues, Carlos E. Tadokoro, Thomas Trimarchi, Gonzalo Gómez-López, Amartya Singh, Hossein Khiabanian, Sonia Minuzzo, Stefano Indraccolo, Camille Lobry, Iannis Aifantis, Daniel Herranz, Juan J. Lafaille, Antonio Maraver
      Pages: 1594 - 1608
      Abstract: The Notch pathway is highly active in almost all patients with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), but the implication of Notch ligands in T-ALL remains underexplored.Methods: We used a genetic mouse model of Notch ligand delta like 4 (DLL4)-driven T-ALL and performed thymectomies and splenectomies in those animals. We also used several patient-derived T-ALL (PDTALL) models, including one with DLL4 expression on the membrane and we treated PDTALL cells in vitro and in vivo with demcizumab, a blocking antibody against human DLL4 currently being tested in clinical trials in patients with solid cancer.Results: We show that surgical removal of the spleen abrogated T-ALL development in our preclinical DLL4-driven T-ALL mouse model. Mechanistically, we found that the spleen, and not the thymus, promoted the accumulation of circulating CD4+CD8+ T cells before T-ALL onset, suggesting that DLL4-driven T-ALL derives from these cells. Then, we identified a small subset of T-ALL patients showing higher levels of DLL4 expression. Moreover, in mice xenografted with a DLL4-positive PDTALL model, treatment with demcizumab had the same therapeutic effect as global Notch pathway inhibition using the potent γ-secretase inhibitor dibenzazepine. This result demonstrates that, in this PDTALL model, Notch pathway activity depends on DLL4 signaling, thus validating our preclinical mouse model.Conclusion: DLL4 expression in human leukemic cells can be a source of Notch activity in T-ALL, and the spleen plays a major role in a genetic mouse model of DLL4-driven T-ALL.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Endothelial Klf2-Foxp1-TGFβ signal mediates the inhibitory effects of
           simvastatin on maladaptive cardiac remodeling

    • Authors: Hongda Li; Yanfang Wang, Jiwen Liu, Xiaoli Chen, Yunhao Duan, Xiaoyu Wang, Yajing Shen, Yashu Kuang, Tao Zhuang, Brain Tomlinson, Paul Chan, Zuoren Yu, Yu Cheng, Lin Zhang, Zhongmin Liu, Yuzhen Zhang, Zhenlin Zhao, Qi Zhang, Jie Liu
      Pages: 1609 - 1625
      Abstract: Aims: Pathological cardiac fibrosis and hypertrophy are common features of left ventricular remodeling that often progress to heart failure (HF). Endothelial cells (ECs) are the most abundant non-myocyte cells in adult mouse heart. Simvastatin, a strong inducer of Krüppel-like Factor 2 (Klf2) in ECs, ameliorates pressure overload induced maladaptive cardiac remodeling and dysfunction. This study aims to explore the detailed molecular mechanisms of the anti-remodeling effects of simvastatin.Methods and Results: RGD-magnetic-nanoparticles were used to endothelial specific delivery of siRNA and we found absence of simvastatin's protective effect on pressure overload induced maladaptive cardiac remodeling and dysfunction after in vivo inhibition of EC-Klf2. Mechanism studies showed that EC-Klf2 inhibition reversed the simvastatin-mediated reduction of fibroblast proliferation and myofibroblast formation, as well as cardiomyocyte size and cardiac hypertrophic genes, which suggested that EC-Klf2 might mediate the anti-fibrotic and anti-hypertrophy effects of simvastatin. Similar effects were observed after Klf2 inhibition in cultured ECs. Moreover, Klf2 regulated its direct target gene TGFβ1 in ECs and mediated the protective effects of simvastatin, and inhibition of EC-Klf2 increased the expression of EC-TGFβ1 leading to simvastatin losing its protective effects. Also, EC-Klf2 was found to regulate EC-Foxp1 and loss of EC-Foxp1 attenuated the protective effects of simvastatin similar to EC-Klf2 inhibition.Conclusions: We conclude that cardiac microvasculature ECs are important in the modulation of pressure overload induced maladaptive cardiac remodeling and dysfunction, and the endothelial Klf2-TGFβ1 or Klf2-Foxp1-TGFβ1 pathway mediates the preventive effects of simvastatin. This study demonstrates a novel mechanism of the non-cholesterol lowering effects of simvastatin for HF prevention.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Metastatic colorectal cancer cells maintain the TGFβ program and use
           TGFBI to fuel angiogenesis

    • Authors: Barbara Chiavarina; Brunella Costanza, Roberto Ronca, Arnaud Blomme, Sara Rezzola, Paola Chiodelli, Ambre Giguelay, Guillame Belthier, Gilles Doumont, Gaetan Van Simaeys, Simon Lacroix, Takehiko Yokobori, Bilguun Erkhem-Ochir, Patrick Balaguer, Vincent Cavailles, Eric Fabbrizio, Emmanuel Di Valentin, Stephanie Gofflot, Olivier Detry, Guy Jerusalem, Serge Goldman, Philippe Delvenne, Akeila Bellahcène, Julie Pannequin, Vincent Castronovo, Andrei Turtoi
      Pages: 1626 - 1640
      Abstract: Colorectal cancer (CRC) cells are traditionally considered unresponsive to TGFβ due to mutations in the receptors and/or downstream signaling molecules. TGFβ influences CRC cells only indirectly via stromal cells, such as cancer-associated fibroblasts. However, CRC cell ability to directly respond to TGFβ currently remains unexplored. This represents a missed opportunity for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.Methods: We examined whether cancer cells from primary CRC and liver metastases respond to TGFβ by inducing TGFβ-induced protein ig-h3 (TGFBI) expression, and the contribution of canonical and non-canonical TGFβ signaling pathways to this effect. We then investigated in vitro and in vivo TGFBI impact on metastasis formation and angiogenesis. Using patient serum samples and an orthotopic mouse model of CRC liver metastases we assessed the diagnostic/tumor targeting value of novel antibodies against TGFBI.Results: Metastatic CRC cells, such as circulating tumor cells, directly respond to TGFβ. These cells were characterized by the absence of TGFβ receptor mutations and the frequent presence of p53 mutations. The pro-tumorigenic program orchestrated by TGFβ in CRC cells was mediated through TGFBI, the expression of which was positively regulated by non-canonical TGFβ signaling cascades. TGFBI inhibition was sufficient to significantly reduce liver metastasis formation in vivo. Moreover, TGFBI pro-tumorigenic function was linked to its ability to stimulate angiogenesis. TGFBI levels were higher in serum samples from untreated patients with CRC than in patients who were receiving chemotherapy. A radiolabeled anti-TGFBI antibody selectively targeted metastatic lesions in vivo, underscoring its diagnostic and therapeutic potential.Conclusions: TGFβ signaling in CRC cells directly contributes to their metastatic potential and stromal cell-independence. Proteins downstream of activated TGFβ, such as TGFBI, represent novel diagnostic and therapeutic targets for more specific anti-metastatic therapies.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Immunomodulation by systemic administration of human-induced pluripotent
           stem cell-derived mesenchymal stromal cells to enhance the therapeutic
           efficacy of cell-based therapy for treatment of myocardial infarction

    • Authors: Si-Jia Sun; Wing-Hon Lai, Yu Jiang, Zhe Zhen, Rui Wei, Qizhou Lian, Song-Yan Liao, Hung-Fat Tse
      Pages: 1641 - 1654
      Abstract: Rationale: Poor survival and engraftment are major hurdles of stem cell therapy in the treatment of myocardial infarction (MI). We sought to determine whether pre-transplantation systemic intravenous administration of human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (hiPSC-MSCs) could improve the survival of hiPSC-MSCs or hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) following direct intramyocardial transplantation in a mouse model of MI.Methods: Mice were randomized to undergo intravenous administration of saline or 5×105 hiPSC-MSCs one week prior to MI, induced by ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery. Mice were further assigned to undergo direct intramyocardial transplantation of hiPSC-MSCs (1×106) or hiPSC-CMs (1×106) 10 minutes following MI. Echocardiographic and invasive hemodynamic assessment were performed to determine cardiac function. In-vivo fluorescent imaging analysis, immunofluorescence staining and polymerase chain reaction were performed to detect cell engraftment. Flow cytometry of splenic regulatory T cells (Tregs) and natural killer (NK) cells was performed to assess the immunomodulatory effects.Results: Pre-transplantation systemic administration of hiPSC-MSCs increased systemic Tregs activation, decreased the number of splenic NK cells and inflammation, and enhanced survival of transplanted hiPSC-MSCs and hiPSC-CMs. These improvements were associated with increased neovascularization and decreased myocardial inflammation and apoptosis at the peri-infract zone with consequent improved left ventricular function four weeks later. Co-culture of splenic CD4 cells with hiPSC-MSCs also modulated their cytokine expression profile with a decreased level of interferon-γ, tumor necrosis factor-α, and interleukin (IL)-17A, but not IL-2, IL-6 and IL-10.Conclusion: Pre-transplantation systemic intravenous administration of hiPSC-MSCs induced immunomodulation and facilitated the survival of intramyocardially transplanted cells to improve cardiac function in MI.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Neutrophil recruitment and leukocyte response following focused ultrasound
           and microbubble mediated blood-brain barrier treatments

    • Authors: Charissa Poon; Carly Pellow, Kullervo Hynynen
      Pages: 1655 - 1671
      Abstract: Rationale: Delivery of therapeutic agents to the brain is limited by the presence of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). An emerging strategy to temporarily and locally increase the permeability of the BBB is the use of transcranial focused ultrasound (FUS) and systematically injected microbubbles (MBs). FUS+MB BBB treatments cause an acute inflammatory response, marked by a transient upregulation of pro-inflammatory genes; however, the cellular immune response remains unknown.Methods: FUS+MB BBB treatments were monitored in real-time using two-photon fluorescence microscopy and transgenic EGFP Wistar rats, which harbour several fluorescent cell types. Leukocyte identification and counts were confirmed using magnetic resonance imaging-guided FUS+MB BBB treatments. Participation of leukocytes in reducing β-amyloid pathology following repeated FUS+MB BBB treatments was investigated in the TgCRND8 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.Results: Intravascular leukocyte activity indicative of acute inflammation were identified, including transendothelial migration, formation of cell aggregates, and cell masses capable of perturbing blood flow. Leukocyte responses were only observed after the onset of sonication. Neutrophils were identified to be a key participating leukocyte. Significantly more neutrophils were detected in the sonicated hemisphere compared to the contralateral hemisphere, and to untreated controls. Three to five biweekly FUS+MB BBB treatments did not induce significantly more neutrophil recruitment, nor neutrophil phagocytosis of β-amyloid plaques, in TgCRND8 mice compared to untreated controls.Conclusions: This study provides evidence that the cellular aspect of the peripheral immune response triggered by FUS+MB BBB treatments begins immediately after sonication, and emphasizes the importance for further investigations to be conducted to understand leukocyte dynamics and cerebral blood flow responses to FUS+MB BBB treatments.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Upregulation of amplified in breast cancer 1 contributes to pancreatic
           ductal adenocarcinoma progression and vulnerability to blockage of
           hedgehog activation

    • Authors: Licen Li; Jiaolin Bao, Haitao Wang, Josh Haipeng Lei, Cheng Peng, Jianming Zeng, Wenhui Hao, Xu Zhang, Xiaoling Xu, Chundong Yu, Chu-Xia Deng, Qiang Chen
      Pages: 1672 - 1689
      Abstract: Background: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most aggressive and devastating cancers without effective treatments. Amplified in breast cancer 1 (AIB1) is a member of the steroid receptor coactivator family that mediates the transcriptional activities of nuclear receptors. While AIB1 is associated with the initiation and progression of multiple cancers, the mechanism by which AIB1 contributes to PDAC progression remains unknown. In this study, we aimed to explore the role of AIB1 in the progression of PDAC and elucidate the underlying mechanisms.Methods: The clinical significance and mRNA level of AIB1 in PDAC were studied by database analysis. To demonstrate whether AIB1 mediates the malignant features of PDAC cells, namely, proliferation, migration, invasion, we performed real-time PCR and Western blot analysis, established xenograft models and used in vivo metastasis assay. With insights into the mechanism of AIB1, we performed RNA sequencing (Seq), ChIP-Seq, luciferase reporter assays and pull-down assays. Furthermore, we analyzed the relationship between AIB1 expression and its target expression in PDAC cells and patients and explored whether PDAC cells with high AIB1 levels are sensitive to inhibitors of its target.Results: We found that AIB1 was significantly upregulated in PDAC and associated with its malignancy. Silencing AIB1 impaired hedgehog (Hh) activation by reducing the expression of smoothened (SMO), leading to cell cycle arrest and the inhibition of PDAC cell proliferation. In addition, AIB1, via upregulation of integrin αv (ITGAV) expression, promoted extracellular matrix (ECM) signaling, which played an important role in PDAC progression. Further studies showed that AIB1 preferably bound to AP-1 related elements and served as a coactivator for enhancing the transcriptional activity of MafB, which promoted the expression of SMO and ITGAV. PDAC cells with high AIB1 levels were sensitive to Hh signaling inhibitors, suggesting that blocking Hh activation is an effective treatment against PDAC with high AIB1 expression.Conclusions: These findings reveal that AIB1 is a crucial oncogenic regulator associated with PDAC progression via Hh and ECM signaling and suggest potential therapeutic targets for PDAC treatment.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • The 2020 race towards SARS-CoV-2 specific vaccines

    • Authors: Tomasz M. Karpiński; Marcin Ożarowski, Agnieszka Seremak-Mrozikiewicz, Hubert Wolski, Donald Wlodkowic
      Pages: 1690 - 1702
      Abstract: The global outbreak of a novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) highlighted a requirement for two pronged clinical interventions such as development of effective vaccines and acute therapeutic options for medium-to-severe stages of “coronavirus disease 2019" (COVID-19). Effective vaccines, if successfully developed, have been emphasized to become the most effective strategy in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Basic research advances in biotechnology and genetic engineering have already provided excellent progress and groundbreaking new discoveries in the field of the coronavirus biology and its epidemiology. In particular, for the vaccine development the advances in characterization of a capsid structure and identification of its antigens that can become targets for new vaccines. The development of the experimental vaccines requires a plethora of molecular techniques as well as strict compliance with safety procedures. The research and clinical data integrity, cross-validation of the results, and appropriated studies from the perspective of efficacy and potently side effects have recently become a hotly discussed topic.In this review, we present an update on latest advances and progress in an ongoing race to develop 52 different vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. Our analysis is focused on registered clinical trials (current as of November 04, 2020) that fulfill the international safety and efficacy criteria in the vaccine development. The requirements as well as benefits and risks of diverse types of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are discussed including those containing whole-virus and live-attenuated vaccines, subunit vaccines, mRNA vaccines, DNA vaccines, live vector vaccines, and also plant-based vaccine formulation containing coronavirus-like particle (VLP). The challenges associated with the vaccine development as well as its distribution, safety and long-term effectiveness have also been highlighted and discussed.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Proteomic analysis reveals ginsenoside Rb1 attenuates myocardial
           ischemia/reperfusion injury through inhibiting ROS production from
           mitochondrial complex I

    • Authors: Lujing Jiang; Xiaojian Yin, Ya-Hui Chen, Yan Chen, Wei Jiang, Hao Zheng, Feng-Qing Huang, Baolin Liu, Wei Zhou, Lian-Wen Qi, Jia Li
      Pages: 1703 - 1720
      Abstract: Rationale: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) burst from mitochondrial complex I is considered the critical cause of ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Ginsenoside Rb1 has been reported to protect the heart against I/R injury; however, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. This work aimed to investigate if ginsenoside Rb1 attenuates cardiac I/R injury by inhibiting ROS production from mitochondrial complex I.Methods: In in vivo experiments, mice were given ginsenoside Rb1 and then subjected to I/R injury. Mitochondrial ROS levels in the heart were determined using the mitochondrial-targeted probe MitoB. Mitochondrial proteins were used for TMT-based quantitative proteomic analysis. In in vitro experiments, adult mouse cardiomyocytes were pretreated with ginsenoside Rb1 and then subjected to hypoxia and reoxygenation insult. Mitochondrial ROS, NADH dehydrogenase activity, and conformational changes of mitochondrial complex I were analyzed.Results: Ginsenoside Rb1 decreased mitochondrial ROS production, reduced myocardial infarct size, preserved cardiac function, and limited cardiac fibrosis. Proteomic analysis showed that subunits of NADH dehydrogenase in mitochondrial complex I might be the effector proteins regulated by ginsenoside Rb1. Ginsenoside Rb1 inhibited complex I- but not complex II- or IV-dependent O2 consumption and enzyme activity. The inhibitory effects of ginsenoside Rb1 on mitochondrial I-dependent respiration and reperfusion-induced ROS production were rescued by bypassing complex I using yeast NADH dehydrogenase. Molecular docking and surface plasmon resonance experiments indicated that ginsenoside Rb1 reduced NADH dehydrogenase activity, probably via binding to the ND3 subunit to trap mitochondrial complex I in a deactive form upon reperfusion.Conclusion: Inhibition of mitochondrial complex I-mediated ROS burst elucidated the probable underlying mechanism of ginsenoside Rb1 in alleviating cardiac I/R injury.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Dual-mode endogenous and exogenous sensitization of tumor radiotherapy
           through antifouling dendrimer-entrapped gold nanoparticles

    • Authors: Chao Yang; Yue Gao, Yu Fan, Liu Cao, Jin Li, Yulong Ge, Wenzhi Tu, Yong Liu, Xueyan Cao, Xiangyang Shi
      Pages: 1721 - 1731
      Abstract: Development of a powerful sensitization system to alleviate radioresistance for enhanced tumor radiotherapy (RT) remains to be explored. Herein, we present a unique dual-mode endogenous and exogenous nanosensitizer based on dendrimer-entrapped gold nanoparticles (Au DENPs) to realize enhanced tumor RT.Methods: Generation 5 poly(amidoamine) dendrimers partially modified with 1,3-propanesultone were used for templated synthesis of Au NPs, and the created zwitterionic Au DENPs were adopted for serum-enhanced delivery of siRNA to lead to the knockdown of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) protein and downstream genes to relieve tumor invasion. The Au DENPs/siRNA polyplexes were also used for dual-mode endogenous and exogenous sensitization of tumor RT in vivo.Results: Due to the dual-mode endogenous sensitization through HIF-1α gene silencing and the exogenous sensitization through the existing Au component, enhanced RT of cancer cells in vitro and a tumor model in vivo can be realized, which was confirmed by enhanced cytotoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation in vitro and double-strand DNA damage verified from the γ-H2AX protein expression in tumor cells in vivo. By integrating the advantages of HIF-1α gene silencing-induced downregulation of downstream genes and the dual-mode sensitization-enhanced RT, simultaneous inhibition of primary tumors and metastasis can be readily realized.Conclusions: The developed zwitterionic Au DENPs may be used as a promising platform for dual-mode endogenously and exogenously sensitized RT of other tumor types.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Estrogen-induced circRNA, circPGR, functions as a ceRNA to promote
           estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer cell growth by regulating cell
           cycle-related genes

    • Authors: Lei Wang; Jia Yi, Ling-yun Lu, Yue-ying Zhang, Lan Wang, Guo-sheng Hu, Yi-chen Liu, Jian-cheng Ding, Hai-feng Shen, Fang-qing Zhao, Hai-hua Huang, Wen Liu
      Pages: 1732 - 1752
      Abstract: Estrogen and estrogen receptor (ER)-regulated gene transcriptional events have been well known to be involved in ER-positive breast carcinogenesis. Meanwhile, circular RNAs (circRNAs) are emerging as a new family of functional non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) with implications in a variety of pathological processes, such as cancer. However, the estrogen-regulated circRNA program and the function of such program remain uncharacterized.Methods: CircRNA sequencing (circRNA-seq) was performed to identify circRNAs induced by estrogen, and cell proliferation, colony formation, wound healing, transwell and tumor xenograft experiments were applied to examine the function of estrogen-induced circRNA, circPGR. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and ceRNA network analysis wereperformed to identify circPGR's target genes and the microRNA (miRNA) bound to circPGR. Anti-sense oligonucleotide (ASO) was used to assess circPGR's effects on ER-positive breast cancer cell growth.Results: Genome-wide circRNA profiling by circRNA sequencing (circRNA-seq) revealed that a large number of circRNAs were induced by estrogen, and further functional screening for the several circRNAs originated from PGR revealed that one of them, which we named as circPGR, was required for ER-positive breast cancer cell growth and tumorigenesis. CircPGR was found to be localized in the cytosol of cells and functioned as a competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) to sponge miR-301a-5p to regulate the expression of multiple cell cycle genes. The clinical relevance of circPGR was underscored by its high and specific expression in ER-positive breast cancer cell lines and clinical breast cancer tissue samples. Accordingly, anti-sense oligonucleotide (ASO) targeting circPGR was proven to be effective in suppressing ER-positive breast cancer cell growth.Conclusions: These findings reveled that, besides the well-known messenger RNA (mRNA), microRNA (miRNA), long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) and enhancer RNA (eRNA) programs, estrogen also induced a circRNA program, and exemplified by circPGR, these estrogen-induced circRNAs were required for ER-positive breast cancer cell growth, providing a new class of therapeutic targets for ER-positive breast cancer.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • YAP in pancreatic cancer: oncogenic role and therapeutic strategy

    • Authors: Wenhao Mao; Jia Mai, Hui Peng, Junhu Wan, Ting Sun
      Pages: 1753 - 1762
      Abstract: Pancreatic cancer, especially pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), remains a fatal disease with few efficacious treatments. The Hippo signaling pathway, an evolutionarily conserved signaling module, plays critical roles in tissue homeostasis, organ size control and tumorigenesis. The transcriptional coactivator yes-associated protein (YAP), a major downstream effector of the Hippo pathway, is associated with various human cancers including PDAC. Considering its importance in cancer, YAP is emerging as a promising therapeutic target. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the oncogenic role and regulatory mechanism of YAP in PDAC, and the potential therapeutic strategies targeting YAP.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Extracellular vesicles derived from hypoxic glioma stem-like cells confer
           temozolomide resistance on glioblastoma by delivering miR-30b-3p

    • Authors: Jianxing Yin; Xin Ge, Zhumei Shi, Chen Yu, Chenfei Lu, Yutian Wei, Ailiang Zeng, Xiefeng Wang, Wei Yan, Junxia Zhang, Yongping You
      Pages: 1763 - 1779
      Abstract: Rationale: Glioma stem-like cells (GSCs) contribute to temozolomide (TMZ) resistance in gliomas, although the mechanisms have not been delineated.Methods: In vitro functional experiments (colony formation assay, flow cytometric analysis, TUNEL assay) were used to assess the ability of extracellular vesicles (EVs) from hypoxic GSCs to promote TMZ resistance in glioblastoma (GBM) cells. RNA sequencing and quantitative Reverse Transcription-PCR were employed to identify the functional miRNA in hypoxic EVs. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays were performed to analyze the transcriptional regulation of miRNAs by HIF1α and STAT3. RIP and RNA pull-down assays were used to validate the hnRNPA2B1-mediated packaging of miRNA into EVs. The function of EV miR-30b-3p from hypoxic GSCs was verified by in vivo experiments and analysis of clinical samples.Results: Hypoxic GSC-derived EVs exerted a greater effect on GBM chemoresistance than those from normoxic GSCs. The miRNA profiling revealed that miR-30b-3p was significantly upregulated in the EVs from hypoxic GSCs. Further, HIF1α and STAT3 transcriptionally induced miR-30b-3p expression. RNA immunoprecipitation and RNA-pull down assays revealed that binding of miR-30b-3p with hnRNPA2B1 facilitated its transfer into EVs. EV-packaged miR-30b-3p (EV-miR-30b-3p) directly targeted RHOB, resulting in decreased apoptosis and increased proliferation in vitro and in vivo. Our results provided evidence that miR-30b-3p in CSF could be a potential biomarker predicting resistance to TMZ.Conclusion: Our findings indicated that targeting EV-miR-30b-3p could provide a potential treatment strategy for GBM.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Functional roles of antisense enhancer RNA for promoting prostate cancer
           progression

    • Authors: Chun-Wu Pan; Simeng Wen, Lei Chen, Yulei Wei, Yuanjie Niu, Yu Zhao
      Pages: 1780 - 1794
      Abstract: Rationale: Enhancer RNA (eRNA) bi-directionally expresses from enhancer region and sense eRNA regulates adjacent mRNA in cis and in trans. However, it has remained unclear whether antisense eRNAs in different direction are functional or merely a reflection of enhancer activation.Methods: Strand-specific, ribosome-minus RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) were performed in AR positive prostate cancer cells. RNA-seq, GRO-seq, ChIP-seq, 4C-seq and DNA-methylation-seq that published in our and other labs were re-analyzed to define bi-directional enhancer RNA and DNA methylation regions. Molecular mechanisms were demonstrated by 3C, ChIP, ChIRP, CLIP, RT-PCR and western blot assays. The biological functions of antisense-eRNA were assessed using mice xenograft model and RT-PCR analysis in human tissues.Results: In this study, we identified that antisense eRNA was regulated by androgen receptor (AR) activity in prostate cancer cells. Antisense eRNA negatively regulated antisense ncRNA in AR-related target genes' loci, through recruiting DNMT1 on the antisense enhancer in the gene-ending regions and elevating DNA methylation. Importantly, the chromatin exhibited a double looping manner that facilitated sense-eRNA to promoter and antisense-eRNA to gene-ending region in cis. Depletion of antisense eRNA impaired its neighbor mRNA expression, cancer growth and invasion. The expressions of antisense eRNA were correlated with biochemical recurrence and clinical marker PSA's levels in patients' tissues.Conclusions: The findings indicated that antisense eRNA was a functional RNA and may be a novel target that when suppressed improved prostate cancer therapy and diagnosis. New chromatin interaction among enhancer, promoter and gene-ending region might provide new insight into the spatiotemporal mechanism of the gene transcription and acting of bi-directional eRNAs.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • EZH2 activates CHK1 signaling to promote ovarian cancer chemoresistance by
           maintaining the properties of cancer stem cells

    • Authors: Yiping Wen; Yaya Hou, Xiaoqing Yi, Si Sun, Jing Guo, Xiaoqi He, Tao Li, Jing Cai, Zehua Wang
      Pages: 1795 - 1813
      Abstract: Background: Ovarian cancer is a fatal malignant gynecological tumor. Ovarian cancer stem cells (OCSCs) contribute to resistance to chemotherapy. The polycomb group protein enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) plays a key role in maintaining CSCs. Here, we aimed to investigate the specific mechanism by which EZH2 regulates CSCs to result in chemoresistance and poor prognosis of ovarian cancer.Methods: We used a nude mouse model to obtain a cell line enriched for OCSCs, named SK-3rd cells. The CRISPR and Cas9 endonuclease system was used to establish an EZH2-knockout SK-3rd ovarian cancer cell line. High-throughput PCR array and bioinformatics methods were used to screen the EZH2 target involved in CSC stemness. A luciferase reporter assay and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay were performed to identify activation of CHK1 by EZH2. We evaluated associations between EZH2/CHK1 expression and the chemoresistance and prognosis of ovarian cancer patients.Results: EZH2 plays a critical role in maintaining ovarian CSC stemness and chemo-resistance. CHK1 is an EZH2 target involved in CSC stemness. Knockdown of EZH2 in ovarian CSCs decreased CHK1 expression, while CHK1 overexpression was sufficient to reverse the inhibitory effect on spheroid formation and chemoresistance caused by repression of EZH2. In addition, EZH2 was also shown to play a unique role in activating rather than repressing CHK1 signaling through binding to the CHK1 promoter in epithelial ovarian cancer cells. Finally, in clinical samples, ovarian cancer patients with high levels of EZH2 and CHK1 not only were more resistant to platinum but also had a poorer prognosis.Conclusions: Our data revealed a previously unidentified functional and mechanistic link between EZH2 levels, CHK1 signaling activation, and ovarian CSCs and provided strong evidence that EZH2 promotes ovarian cancer chemoresistance and recurrence.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Retina as a window to cerebral dysfunction following studies with circRNA
           signature during neurodegeneration

    • Authors: Qin Jiang; Dong-Yuan Su, Zhen-Zhen Wang, Chang Liu, Ya-Nan Sun, Hong Cheng, Xiu-Miao Li, Biao Yan
      Pages: 1814 - 1827
      Abstract: Ischemia-induced cerebral injury is a major cause of dementia or death worldwide. The pre-diagnosis is still challenging due to the retarded symptoms. The retina is regarded as the extension of cerebral tissue. Circular RNAs have emerged as the crucial regulators in gene regulatory network and disease progression. However, it is still unknown whether circRNAs can be used as the common regulators and diagnostic markers for cerebral neurodegeneration and retinal neurodegeneration.Methods: C57BL/6J mice were subjected to transient middle cerebral artery occlusion and circRNA microarray profiling was performed to identify neurodegeneration-related circRNAs. Quantitative reverse-transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) assays were performed to verify circRNA expression pattern. Gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis was performed to determine the biologic modules and signaling pathway. TTC staining, Nissl's staining, and immunofluorescence staining assays were performed to investigate the role of circRNA in cerebral neurodegeneration and retinal neurodegeneration in vivo. MTT assay, Propidium iodide (PI)/Calcein-AM staining, and Rhodamine 123 assays were performed to investigate the role of circRNA in neuronal injury in vitro. Bioinformatics, RIP, and luciferase activity assays were performed to determine the regulatory mechanism of circRNA in neurodegeneration.Results: 217 differentially expressed circRNAs were identified between ischemic cerebral tissues and normal controls. Among them, cGLIS3 was shown as the common regulator of cerebral neurodegeneration and retinal neurodegeneration. cGLIS3 silencing alleviated ischemia-induced retinal neurodegeneration and MCAO-induced cerebral neurodegeneration in vivo. cGLIS3 silencing protected against OGD/R-induced RGC injury in vitro. The circulating levels of cGLIS3 were significantly increased in the patients with ischemic stroke compared to healthy subjects. cGLIS3 levels were also increased in the aqueous humor of the patients with retinal vein occlusion. cGLIS3 regulated neuronal cell injury by acting as miR-203 sponge and its level was controlled by EIF4A3.Conclusions: This study provides molecular evidence that the retina is window of the brain from circRNA perspective. cGLIS3 is a common regulator and diagnostic marker of cerebral neurodegeneration and retinal neurodegeneration.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Anti-allergic drug azelastine suppresses colon tumorigenesis by directly
           targeting ARF1 to inhibit IQGAP1-ERK-Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission

    • Authors: Hui-Fang Hu; Wen Wen Xu, Yang-Jia Li, Yan He, Wei-Xia Zhang, Long Liao, Qi-Hua Zhang, Lei Han, Xing-Feng Yin, Xiao-Xu Zhao, Yun-Long Pan, Bin Li, Qing-Yu He
      Pages: 1828 - 1844
      Abstract: This study aimed to screen novel anticancer strategies from FDA-approved non-cancer drugs and identify potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets for colorectal cancer (CRC).Methods: A library consisting of 1056 FDA-approved drugs was screened for anticancer agents. WST-1, colony-formation, flow cytometry, and tumor xenograft assays were used to determine the anticancer effect of azelastine. Quantitative proteomics, confocal imaging, Western blotting and JC-1 assays were performed to examine the effects on mitochondrial pathways. The target protein of azelastine was analyzed and confirmed by DARTS, WST-1, Biacore and tumor xenograft assays. Immunohistochemistry, gain- and loss-of-function experiments, WST-1, colony-formation, immunoprecipitation, and tumor xenograft assays were used to examine the functional and clinical significance of ARF1 in colon tumorigenesis.Results: Azelastine, a current anti-allergic drug, was found to exert a significant inhibitory effect on CRC cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo, but not on ARF1-deficient or ARF1-T48S mutant cells. ARF1 was identified as a direct target of azelastine. High ARF1 expression was associated with advanced stages and poor survival of CRC. ARF1 promoted colon tumorigenesis through its interaction with IQGAP1 and subsequent activation of ERK signaling and mitochondrial fission by enhancing the interaction of IQGAP1 with MEK and ERK. Mechanistically, azelastine bound to Thr-48 in ARF1 and repressed its activity, decreasing Drp1 phosphorylation. This, in turn, inhibited mitochondrial fission and suppressed colon tumorigenesis by blocking IQGAP1-ERK signaling.Conclusions: This study provides the first evidence that azelastine may be novel therapeutics for CRC treatment. ARF1 promotes colon tumorigenesis, representing a promising biomarker and therapeutic target in CRC.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Mitochondrial ROS promote mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammation in
           ischemic acute kidney injury by disrupting TFAM-mediated mtDNA maintenance
           

    • Authors: Meng Zhao; Yizhuo Wang, Ling Li, Shuyun Liu, Chengshi Wang, Yujia Yuan, Guang Yang, Younan Chen, Jingqiu Cheng, Yanrong Lu, Jingping Liu
      Pages: 1845 - 1863
      Abstract: Aims: Ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI)-induced acute kidney injury (IRI-AKI) is characterized by elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial dysfunction, and inflammation, but the potential link among these features remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to investigate the specific role of mitochondrial ROS (mtROS) in initiating mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage and inflammation during IRI-AKI.Methods: The changes in renal function, mitochondrial function, and inflammation in IRI-AKI mice with or without mtROS inhibition were analyzed in vivo. The impact of mtROS on TFAM (mitochondrial transcription factor A), Lon protease, mtDNA, mitochondrial respiration, and cytokine release was analyzed in renal tubular cells in vitro. The effects of TFAM knockdown on mtDNA, mitochondrial function, and cytokine release were also analyzed in vitro. Finally, changes in TFAM and mtDNA nucleoids were measured in kidney samples from IRI-AKI mice and patients.Results: Decreasing mtROS levels attenuated renal dysfunction, mitochondrial damage, and inflammation in IRI-AKI mice. Decreasing mtROS levels also reversed the decrease in TFAM levels and mtDNA copy number that occurs in HK2 cells under oxidative stress. mtROS reduced the abundance of mitochondrial TFAM in HK2 cells by suppressing its transcription and promoting Lon-mediated TFAM degradation. Silencing of TFAM abolished the Mito-Tempo (MT)-induced rescue of mitochondrial function and cytokine release in HK2 cells under oxidative stress. Loss of TFAM and mtDNA damage were found in kidneys from IRI-AKI mice and AKI patients.Conclusion: mtROS can promote renal injury by suppressing TFAM-mediated mtDNA maintenance, resulting in decreased mitochondrial energy metabolism and increased cytokine release. TFAM defects may be a promising target for renal repair after IRI-AKI.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Imaging atherosclerotic plaques by targeting Galectin-3 and activated
           macrophages using (89Zr)-DFO- Galectin3-F(ab')2 mAb

    • Authors: Zohreh Varasteh; Francesco De Rose, Sarajo Mohanta, Yuanfang Li, Xi Zhang, Benedikt Miritsch, Giorgia Scafetta, Changjun Yin, Hendrik B. Sager, Sarah Glasl, Dimitris Gorpas, Andreas J.R. Habenicht, Vasilis Ntziachristos, Wolfgang A. Weber, Armando Bartolazzi, Markus Schwaiger, Calogero D'Alessandria
      Pages: 1864 - 1876
      Abstract: Rationale: The high expression of Galectin-3 (Gal3) in macrophages of atherosclerotic plaques suggests its participation in atherosclerosis pathogenesis, and raises the possibility to use it as a target to image disease severity in vivo. Here, we explored the feasibility of tracking atherosclerosis by targeting Gal3 expression in plaques of apolipoprotein E knockout (ApoE-KO) mice via PET imaging.Methods: Targeting of Gal3 in M0-, M1- and M2 (M2a/M2c)-polarized macrophages was assessed in vitro using a Gal3-F(ab')2 mAb labeled with AlexaFluor®488 and 89Zr- desferrioxamine-thioureyl-phenyl-isothiocyanate (DFO). To visualize plaques in vivo, ApoE-KO mice were injected i.v. with 89Zr-DFO-Gal3-F(ab')2 mAb and imaged via PET/CT 48 h post injection. Whole length aortas harvested from euthanized mice were processed for Sudan-IV staining, autoradiography, and immunostaining for Gal3, CD68 and α-SMA expression. To confirm accumulation of the tracer in plaques, ApoE-KO mice were injected i.v. with Cy5.5-Gal3-F(ab')2 mAb, euthanized 48 h post injection, followed by cryosections of the body and acquisition of fluorescent images. To explore the clinical potential of this imaging modality, immunostaining for Gal3, CD68 and α-SMA expression were carried out in human plaques. Single cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-Seq) analyses were performed to measure LGALS3 (i.e. a synonym for Gal3) gene expression in each macrophage of several subtypes present in murine or human plaques.Results: Preferential binding to M2 macrophages was observed with both AlexaFluor®488-Gal3-F(ab')2 and 89Zr-DFO-Gal3-F(ab')2 mAbs. Focal and specific 89Zr-DFO-Gal3-F(ab')2 mAb uptake was detected in plaques of ApoE-KO mice by PET/CT. Autoradiography and immunohistochemical analyses of aortas confirmed the expression of Gal3 within plaques mainly in macrophages. Moreover, a specific fluorescent signal was visualized within the lesions of vascular structures burdened by plaques in mice. Gal3 expression in human plaques showed similar Gal3 expression patterns when compared to their murine counterparts.Conclusions: Our data reveal that 89Zr-DFO-Gal3-F(ab')2 mAb PET/CT is a potentially novel tool to image atherosclerotic plaques at different stages of development, allowing knowledge-based tailored individual intervention in clinically significant disease.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Novel role of circRSU1 in the progression of osteoarthritis by adjusting
           oxidative stress

    • Authors: Yute Yang; Panyang Shen, Teng Yao, Jun Ma, Zizheng Chen, Jinjin Zhu, Zhe Gong, Shuying Shen, Xiangqian Fang
      Pages: 1877 - 1900
      Abstract: Osteoarthritis (OA), characterized as an end-stage syndrome caused by risk factors accumulated with age, significantly impacts quality of life in the elderly. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are receiving increasing attention regarding their role in OA progression and development; however, their role in the regulation of age-induced and oxidative stress-related OA remains unclear.Methods: Herein, we explored oxidative stress in articular cartilage obtained from patients of different ages. The presence of circRSU1 was detected using RNA sequencing of H2O2-stimulated primary human articular chondrocytes (HCs), and validated in articular cartilage and HCs using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) staining. miR-93-5p and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 8 (MAP3K8) were identified as interactive circRSU1 partners based on annotation and target prediction databases, and their associations were identified through dual-luciferase reporter analysis. The effect of the circRSU1-miR-93-5p-MAP3K8 axis on HCs was confirmed using western blot, quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), immunofluorescence, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) analyses. CircRSU1 and its mutant were ectopically expressed in mice to assess their effects in destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM) in mice.Results: We found a marked upregulation of circRSU1 in H2O2-treated HCs and OA articular cartilage from elderly individuals. circRSU1 was induced by IL-1β and H2O2 stimulation, and it subsequently regulated oxidative stress-triggered inflammation and extracellular matrix (ECM) maintenance in HCs, by modulating the MEK/ERK1/2 and NF-κB cascades. Ectopic expression of circRSU1 in mouse joints promoted the production of ROS and loss of ECM, which was rescued by mutation of the mir-93-5p target sequence in circRSU1.Conclusion: We identified a circRSU1-miR-93-5p-MAP3K8 axis that modulates the progression of OA via oxidative stress regulation, which could serve as a potential target for OA therapy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • A general Fc engineering platform for the next generation of antibody
           therapeutics

    • Authors: Da Chen; Yingjie Zhao, Mingyu Li, Hang Shang, Na Li, Fan Li, Wei Wang, Yuan Wang, Ruina Jin, Shiyu Liu, Xun Li, Shan Gao, Yujie Tian, Ruonan Li, Huanhuan Li, Yongyan Zhang, Mingjuan Du, Youjia Cao, Yan Zhang, Xin Li, Yi Huang, Liaoyuan A. Hu, Fubin Li, Hongkai Zhang
      Pages: 1901 - 1917
      Abstract: Rationale: Fc engineering has become the focus of antibody drug development. The current mutagenesis and in silico protein design methods are confined by the limited throughput and high cost, while the high-throughput phage display and yeast display technologies are not suitable for screening glycosylated Fc variants. Here we developed a mammalian cell display-based Fc engineering platform.Methods: By using mammalian cell display and next generation sequencing, we screened millions of Fc variants for optimized affinity and specificity for FcγRIIIa or FcγRIIb. The identified Fc variants with improved binding to FcγRIIIa were substituted into trastuzumab and rituximab and the effector function of antibodies were examined in the PBMC-based assay. On the other hand, the identified Fc variants with selectively enhanced FcγRIIb binding were applied to CD40 agonist antibody and the activities of the antibodies were measured on different cell assays. The immunostimulatory activity of CD40 antibodies was also evaluated by OVA-specific CD8+ T cell response model in FcγR/CD40-humanized mice.Results: Using this approach, we screened millions of Fc variant and successfully identified several novel Fc variants with enhanced FcγRIIIa or FcγRIIb binding. These identified Fc variants displayed a dramatic increase in antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity in PBMC-based assay. Novel variants with selectively enhanced FcγRIIb binding were also identified. CD40 agonist antibodies substituted with these Fc variants displayed activity more potent than the parental antibody in the in vitro and in vivo models.Conclusions: This approach increased the throughput of Fc variant screening from thousands to millions magnitude, enabled screening variants containing multiple mutations and could be integrated with glycoengineering technology, represents an ideal platform for Fc engineering. The initial efforts demonstrated the capability of the platform and the novel Fc variants could be substituted into nearly any antibody for the next generation of antibody therapeutics.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Development of the phenylpyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine-based, insulin-like
           growth factor receptor/Src/AXL-targeting small molecule kinase inhibitor

    • Authors: Ho Jin Lee; Phuong Chi Pham, Honglan Pei, Bumhee Lim, Seung Yeob Hyun, Byungyeob Baek, Byungjin Kim, Yunha Kim, Min-Hwan Kim, Nae-Won Kang, Hye-Young Min, Dae-Duk Kim, Jeeyeon Lee, Ho-Young Lee
      Pages: 1918 - 1936
      Abstract: Rationale: The type I insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R) signaling pathway plays key roles in the development and progression of numerous types of human cancers, and Src and AXL have been found to confer resistance to anti-IGF-1R therapies. Hence, co-targeting Src and AXL may be an effective strategy to overcome resistance to anti-IGF-1R therapies. However, pharmacologic targeting of these three kinases may result in enhanced toxicity. Therefore, the development of novel multitarget anticancer drugs that block IGF-1R, Src, and AXL is urgently needed.Methods: We synthesized a series of phenylpyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine (PP)-based compounds, wherein the PP module was conjugated with 2,4-bis-arylamino-1,3-pyrimidines (I2) via a copper(I)-catalyzed alkyne-azide cycloaddition reaction. To develop IGF-1R/Src/AXL-targeting small molecule kinase inhibitors, we selected LL6 as an active compound and evaluated its antitumor and antimetastatic effects in vitro and in vivo using the MTT assay, colony formation assays, migration assay, flow cytometric analysis, a tumor xenograft model, the KrasG12D/+-driven spontaneous lung tumorigenesis model, and a spontaneous metastasis model using Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) allografts. We also determined the toxicity of LL6 in vitro and in vivo.Results: LL6 induced apoptosis and suppressed viability and colony-forming capacities of various non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines and their sublines with drug resistance. LL6 also suppressed the migration of NSCLC cells at nontoxic doses. Administration of LL6 in mice significantly suppressed the growth of NSCLC xenograft tumors and metastasis of LLC allograft tumors with outstanding toxicity profiles. Furthermore, the multiplicity, volume, and load of lung tumors in KrasG12D/+ transgenic mice were substantially reduced by the LL6 treatment.Conclusions: Our results show the potential of LL6 as a novel IGF-1R/Src/AXL-targeting small molecule kinase inhibitor, providing a new avenue for anticancer therapies.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Manganese porphyrin-based metal-organic framework for synergistic
           sonodynamic therapy and ferroptosis in hypoxic tumors

    • Authors: Qingbo Xu; Guiting Zhan, Zelong Zhang, Tuying Yong, Xiangliang Yang, Lu Gan
      Pages: 1937 - 1952
      Abstract: Development of efficient therapeutic strategy to incorporate ultrasound (US)-triggered sonodynamic therapy (SDT) and ferroptosis is highly promising in cancer therapy. However, the SDT efficacy is severely limited by the hypoxia and high glutathione (GSH) in the tumor microenvironment, and ferroptosis is highly associated with reactive oxygen species (ROS) and GSH depletion.Methods: A manganese porphyrin-based metal-organic framework (Mn-MOF) was constructed as a nanosensitizer to self-supply oxygen (O2) and decrease GSH for enhanced SDT and ferroptosis. In vitro and in vivo analysis, including characterization, O2 generation, GSH depletion, ROS generation, lipid peroxidation, antitumor efficacy and tumor immune microenvironment were systematically evaluated.Results: Mn-MOF exhibited catalase-like and GSH decreasing activity in vitro. After efficient internalization into cancer cells, Mn-MOF persistently catalyzed tumor-overexpressed H2O2 to in-situ produce O2 to relieve tumor hypoxia and decrease GSH and GPX4, which facilitated the formation of ROS and ferroptosis to kill cancer cells upon US irradiation in hypoxic tumors. Thus, strong anticancer and anti-metastatic activity was found in H22 and 4T1 tumor-bearing mice after a single administration of Mn-MOF upon a single US irradiation. In addition, Mn-MOF showed strong antitumor immunity and improved immunosuppressive microenvironment upon US irradiation by increasing the numbers of activated CD8+ T cells and matured dendritic cells and decreaing the numbers of myeloid-derived suppressor cells in tumor tissues.Conclusions: Mn-MOF holds great potential for hypoxic cancer therapy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Increased photodynamic therapy sensitization in tumors using a nitric
           oxide-based nanoplatform with ATP-production blocking capability

    • Authors: Qinyanqiu Xiang; Bin Qiao, Yuanli Luo, Jin Cao, Kui Fan, Xinghua Hu, Lan Hao, Yang Cao, Qunxia Zhang, Zhigang Wang
      Pages: 1953 - 1969
      Abstract: Photodynamic therapy (PDT) efficacy in cancer cells is affected by sub-physiological hypoxia caused by dysregulated and “chaotic” tumor microvasculature. However, current traditional O2-replenishing strategies are undergoing their own intrinsic deficiencies. In addition, resistance mechanisms activated during PDT also lead the present situation far from satisfactory.Methods: We propose a nitric oxide (NO)-based theranostic nanoplatform by using biocompatible poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid nanoparticles (PLGA NPs) as carriers, in which the outer polymeric layer embeds chlorin e6 (Ce6) and incorporates L-Arginine (L-Arg). This nanoplatform (L-Arg@Ce6@P NPs) can reduce hyperactive O2 metabolism of tumor cells by NO-mediated mitochondrial respiration inhibition, which should raise endogenous O2 tension to counteract hypoxia. Furthermore, NO can also hinder oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) which should cause intracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) depletion, inhibiting tumor cells proliferation and turning cells more sensitive to PDT.Results: When the L-Arg@Ce6@P NPs accumulate in solid tumors by the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect, locally released L-Arg is oxidized by the abundant H2O2 to produce NO. In vitro experiments suggest that NO can retard hypoactive O2 metabolism and save intracellular O2 for enhancing PDT efficacy under NIR light irradiation. Also, lower intracellular ATP hinders proliferation of DNA, improving PDT sensitization. PDT phototherapeutic efficacy increased by combining these two complementary strategies in vitro/in vivo.Conclusion: We show that this NO-based nanoplatform can be potentially used to alleviate hypoxia and sensitize tumor cells to amplify the efficacy of phototherapy guided by photoacoustic (PA) imaging.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Reducing PD-L1 expression with a self-assembled nanodrug: an alternative
           to PD-L1 antibody for enhanced chemo-immunotherapy

    • Authors: Shuxian Cai; Ziyi Chen, Yingjie Wang, Min Wang, Junye Wu, Yuhong Tong, Lanlan Chen, Chunhua Lu, Huanghao Yang
      Pages: 1970 - 1981
      Abstract: The binding between the immune checkpoints, programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) and programmed cell death 1 (PD-1), compromises T-cell-mediated immune surveillance. Immune checkpoint therapy using immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) to block PD-L1 on cancer cell membrane or PD-1 on activated T cell membrane can restore antitumor function of T cell. However, the intracellular expression of PD-L1 and its active redistribution to cancer cell membrane may impair the therapeutic benefits of ICIs. To address this issue, herein we develop a nanodrug (MS NPs) capable of reducing PD-L1 expression and enhancing antitumor effects.Methods: The nanodrug was self-assembled from immunoadjuvant metformin (Met, an old drug) and anticancer agent 7-ethyl-10-hydroxycamptothecin (SN38) via hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interactions. A series of experiments, including the characterization of MS NPs, the validation of MS NPs-mediated down-regulation of PD-L1 expression and in vitro therapeutic effect, the MS NPs-mediated in vivo chemo-immunotherapy and tumor metastasis inhibition were carried out.Results: Different from ICIs that conformationally block PD-L1 on cancer cell membrane, MS NPs directly reduced the PD-L1 level via metformin to achieve immunotherapy. Therefore, MS NPs showed enhanced chemo-immunotherapy effect than its counterparts. MS NPs were also effective in inhibiting tumor metastasis by remodeling the extracellular matrix and restoring immune surveillance. Additionally, no obvious toxicity was observed in major organs from MS NPs-treated mice and a high survival rate of mice was obtained after MS NPs treatment.Conclusion: We have designed nanodrug MS NPs by self-assembly of the immunoadjuvant Met and the anticancer agent SN38 for combined immunotherapy and chemotherapy. MS NPs might break the deadlock of antibody-based ICIs in immunotherapy, and repurposing old drug might provide a new perspective on the development of novel ICIs.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Fully end-to-end deep-learning-based diagnosis of pancreatic tumors

    • Authors: Ke Si; Ying Xue, Xiazhen Yu, Xinpei Zhu, Qinghai Li, Wei Gong, Tingbo Liang, Shumin Duan
      Pages: 1982 - 1990
      Abstract: Artificial intelligence can facilitate clinical decision making by considering massive amounts of medical imaging data. Various algorithms have been implemented for different clinical applications. Accurate diagnosis and treatment require reliable and interpretable data. For pancreatic tumor diagnosis, only 58.5% of images from the First Affiliated Hospital and the Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine are used, increasing labor and time costs to manually filter out images not directly used by the diagnostic model.Methods: This study used a training dataset of 143,945 dynamic contrast-enhanced CT images of the abdomen from 319 patients. The proposed model contained four stages: image screening, pancreas location, pancreas segmentation, and pancreatic tumor diagnosis.Results: We established a fully end-to-end deep-learning model for diagnosing pancreatic tumors and proposing treatment. The model considers original abdominal CT images without any manual preprocessing. Our artificial-intelligence-based system achieved an area under the curve of 0.871 and a F1 score of 88.5% using an independent testing dataset containing 107,036 clinical CT images from 347 patients. The average accuracy for all tumor types was 82.7%, and the independent accuracies of identifying intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma were 100% and 87.6%, respectively. The average test time per patient was 18.6 s, compared with at least 8 min for manual reviewing. Furthermore, the model provided a transparent and interpretable diagnosis by producing saliency maps highlighting the regions relevant to its decision.Conclusions: The proposed model can potentially deliver efficient and accurate preoperative diagnoses that could aid the surgical management of pancreatic tumor.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Remodeling cancer stemness by collagen/fibronectin via the AKT and CDC42
           signaling pathway crosstalk in glioma

    • Authors: Chuanhong Zhong; Bei Tao, Fangli Tang, Xiaobo Yang, Tangming Peng, Jian You, Kaiguo Xia, Xiangguo Xia, Ligang Chen, Lilei Peng
      Pages: 1991 - 2005
      Abstract: Cancer development is a complex set of proliferative progression, which arises in most cases via multistep pathways associated with various factors, including the tumor microenvironment and extracellular matrix. However, the underlying mechanisms of cancer development remain unclear and this study aimed to explore the role of extracellular matrix in glioma progression.Methods: The expression of type I collagen and fibronectin in tumor tissues from glioma patients was examined by immunofluorescence staining. The correlations between collagen/fibronectin and glioma progression were then analyzed. A 3D collagen/fibronectin cultured system was established for tumor cells culture in vitro. Quantitative, real-time PCR and western blot were used to detect PI3K/ATK and CDC42 signals associated proteins expression in glioma. We used in vitro Cell Counting Kit-8, colony formation, and tumorigenesis assays to investigate the function of PI3K/AKT and CDC42 signals associated proteins. A xenograft glioma mice model was also used to study the anticancer effects of integrin inhibitor in vivo.Results: Our study demonstrated that type I collagen and fibronectin collaborate to regulate glioma cell stemness and tumor growth. In a 3D collagen/fibronectin culture model, glioma cells acquired tumorigenic potential and revealed strengthened proliferative characteristics. More significantly, collagen/fibronectin could facilitate the activation of PI3K/AKT/SOX2 and CDC42/YAP-1/NUPR1/Nestin signaling pathways via integrin αvβ3, eliciting sustained tumor growth and cancer relapse. Combination of the integrin signaling pathway inhibitor and the chemotherapeutic agent efficiently suppressed glioma cell proliferation and tumorigenic ability.Conclusion: We demonstrated that type I collagen and fibronectin could collaborate to promote glioma progression through PI3K/AKT/SOX2 and CDC42/YAP-1/NUPR1/Nestin signaling pathways. Blockade of the upstream molecular integrin αvβ3 revealed improved outcome in glioma therapy, which provide new insights for eradicating tumors and reducing glioma cancer relapse.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • Integrated photodynamic Raman theranostic system for cancer diagnosis,
           treatment, and post-treatment molecular monitoring

    • Authors: Conor C. Horgan; Mads S. Bergholt, Anika Nagelkerke, May Zaw Thin, Isaac J. Pence, Ulrike Kauscher, Tammy L. Kalber, Daniel J. Stuckey, Molly M. Stevens
      Pages: 2006 - 2019
      Abstract: Theranostics, the combination of diagnosis and therapy, has long held promise as a means to achieving personalised precision cancer treatments. However, despite its potential, theranostics has yet to realise significant clinical translation, largely due the complexity and overriding toxicity concerns of existing theranostic nanoparticle strategies.Methods: Here, we present an alternative nanoparticle-free theranostic approach based on simultaneous Raman spectroscopy and photodynamic therapy (PDT) in an integrated clinical platform for cancer theranostics.Results: We detail the compatibility of Raman spectroscopy and PDT for cancer theranostics, whereby Raman spectroscopic diagnosis can be performed on PDT photosensitiser-positive cells and tissues without inadvertent photosensitiser activation/photobleaching or impaired diagnostic capacity. We further demonstrate that our theranostic platform enables in vivo tumour diagnosis, treatment, and post-treatment molecular monitoring in real-time.Conclusion: This system thus achieves effective theranostic performance, providing a promising new avenue towards the clinical realisation of theranostics.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 4 (2021)
       
  • The 14-3-3σ protein promotes HCC anoikis resistance by inhibiting EGFR
           degradation and thereby activating the EGFR-dependent ERK1/2 signaling
           pathway

    • Authors: Jia Song; Yachong Liu, Furong Liu, Lu Zhang, Ganxun Li, Chaoyi Yuan, Chengpeng Yu, Xun Lu, Qiumeng Liu, Xiaoping Chen, Huifang Liang, Zeyang Ding, Bixiang Zhang
      Pages: 996 - 1015
      Abstract: Resistance to anoikis, cell death due to matrix detachment, is acquired during tumor progression. The 14-3-3σ protein is implicated in the development of chemo- and radiation resistance, indicating a poor prognosis in multiple human cancers. However, its function in anoikis resistance and metastasis in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is currently unknown.Methods: Protein expression levels of 14-3-3σ were measured in paired HCC and normal tissue samples using western blot and immunohistochemical (IHC) staining. Statistical analysis was performed to evaluate the clinical correlation between 14-3-3σ expression, clinicopathological features, and overall survival. Artificial modulation of 14-3-3σ (downregulation and overexpression) was performed to explore the role of 14-3-3σ in HCC anoikis resistance and tumor metastasis in vitro and in vivo. Association of 14-3-3σ with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) was assayed by co-immunoprecipitation. Effects of ectopic 14-3-3σ expression or knockdown on EGFR signaling, ligand-induced EGFR degradation and ubiquitination were examined using immunoblotting and co-immunoprecipitation, immunofluorescence staining, and flow cytometry analysis. The levels of EGFR ubiquitination, the interaction between EGFR and 14-3-3σ, and the association of EGFR with c-Cbl after EGF stimulation, in 14-3-3σ overexpressing or knockdown cells were examined to elucidate the mechanism by which 14-3-3σ inhibits EGFR degradation. Using gain-of-function or loss-of-function strategies, we further investigated the role of the EGFR signaling pathway and its downstream target machinery in 14-3-3σ-mediated anoikis resistance of HCC cells.Results: We demonstrated that 14-3-3σ was upregulated in HCC tissues, whereby its overexpression was correlated with aggressive clinicopathological features and a poor prognosis. In vitro and in vivo experiments indicated that 14-3-3σ promoted anoikis resistance and metastasis of HCC cells. Mechanistically, we show that 14-3-3σ can interact with EGFR and significantly inhibit EGF-induced degradation of EGFR, stabilizing the activated receptor, and therefore prolong the activation of EGFR signaling. We demonstrated that 14-3-3σ downregulated ligand-induced EGFR degradation by inhibiting EGFR-c-Cbl association and subsequent c-Cbl-mediated EGFR ubiquitination. We further verified that activation of the ERK1/2 pathway was responsible for 14-3-3σ-mediated anoikis resistance of HCC cells. Moreover, EGFR inactivation could reverse the 14-3-3σ-mediated effects on ERK1/2 phosphorylation and anoikis resistance. Expression of 14-3-3σ and EGFR were found to be positively correlated in human HCC tissues.Conclusions: Our results indicate that 14-3-3σ plays a pivotal role in the anoikis resistance and metastasis of HCC cells, presumably by inhibiting EGFR degradation and regulating the activation of the EGFR-dependent ERK1/2 pathway. To our best knowledge, this is the first report of the role of 14-3-3σ in the anoikis resistance of HCC cells, offering new research directions for the treatment of metastatic cancer by targeting 14-3-3σ.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Metabolic regulatory crosstalk between tumor microenvironment and
           tumor-associated macrophages

    • Authors: Degao Chen; Xiaomei Zhang, Zhongjun Li, Bo Zhu
      Pages: 1016 - 1030
      Abstract: Macrophages phagocytize pathogens to initiate innate immunity and products from the tumor microenvironment (TME) to mediate tumor immunity. The loss of tumor-associated macrophage (TAM)-mediated immune responses results in immune suppression. To reverse this immune disorder, the regulatory mechanism of TAMs in the TME needs to be clarified. Immune molecules (cytokines and chemokines) from TAMs and the TME have been widely accepted as mutual mediators of signal transduction in the past few decades. Recently, researchers have tried to seek the intrinsic mechanism of TAM phenotypic and functional changes through metabolic connections. Numerous metabolites derived from the TME have been identified that induce the cell-cell crosstalk with TAMs. The bulk tumor cells, immune cells, and stromal cells produce metabolites in the TME that are involved in the metabolic regulation of TAMs. Meanwhile, some products from TAMs regulate the biological functions of the tumor as well. Here, we review the recent reports demonstrating the metabolic regulation between TME and TAMs.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Extracellular vesicle-shuttled miRNAs: a critical appraisal of their
           potential as nano-diagnostics and nano-therapeutics in type 2 diabetes
           mellitus and its cardiovascular complications

    • Authors: Francesco Prattichizzo; Giulia Matacchione, Angelica Giuliani, Jacopo Sabbatinelli, Fabiola Olivieri, Paola de Candia, Valeria De Nigris, Antonio Ceriello
      Pages: 1031 - 1045
      Abstract: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a complex multifactorial disease causing the development of a large range of cardiovascular (CV) complications. Lifestyle changes and pharmacological therapies only partially halt T2DM progression, and existing drugs are unable to completely suppress the increased CV risk of T2DM patients. Extracellular vesicles (EV)s are membrane-coated nanoparticles released by virtually all living cells and are emerging as novel mediators of T2DM and its CV complications. As a matter of fact, several preclinical models suggest a key involvement of EVs in the initiation and/or progression of insulin resistance, β-cell dysfunction, diabetic dyslipidaemia, atherosclerosis, and other T2DM complications. In addition, preliminary findings also suggest that EV-associated molecular cargo, and in particular the miRNA repertoire, may provide with useful diagnostic and/or prognostic information for the management of T2DM. Here, we review the latest findings showing that EV biology is altered during the entire trajectory of T2DM, i.e. from diagnosis to development of CV complications. We also critically highlight the potential of this emerging research field, by describing both preclinical and clinical observations, and the limitations that must be overcome to translate the preclinical findings into the development of EV-based nano-diagnostic and/or nano-therapeutic tools. Finally, we summarize how two lifestyle changes known to prevent or limit T2DM, i.e. diet and exercise, affect EV number and composition, with a focus on the possible role of EVs contained in food in shaping metabolic responses, a promising approach still in its infancy.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • The pivotal roles of exosomes derived from endogenous immune cells and
           exogenous stem cells in myocardial repair after acute myocardial
           infarction

    • Authors: Yu-Yan Xiong; Zhao-Ting Gong, Rui-Jie Tang, Yue-Jin Yang
      Pages: 1046 - 1058
      Abstract: Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is one of the leading causes of mortality around the world, and the inflammatory response plays a pivotal role in the progress of myocardial necrosis and ventricular remodeling, dysfunction and heart failure after AMI. Therapies aimed at modulating immune response after AMI on a molecular and cellular basis are urgently needed. Exosomes are a type of extracellular vesicles which contain a large amount of biologically active substances, like lipids, nucleic acids, proteins and so on. Emerging evidence suggests key roles of exosomes in immune regulation post AMI. A variety of immune cells participate in the immunomodulation after AMI, working together to clean up necrotic tissue and repair damaged myocardium. Stem cell therapy for myocardial infarction has long been a research hotspot during the last two decades and exosomes secreted by stem cells are important active substances and have similar therapeutic effects of immunomodulation, anti-apoptosis, anti-fibrotic and angiogenesis to those of stem cells themselves. Therefore, in this review, we focus on the characteristics and roles of exosomes produced by both of endogenous immune cells and exogenous stem cells in myocardial repair through immunomodulation after AMI.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • CXCL12-mediated monocyte transmigration into brain perivascular space
           leads to neuroinflammation and memory deficit in neuropathic pain

    • Authors: Chun-Lin Mai; Zhi Tan, Ya-Nan Xu, Jing-Jun Zhang, Zhen-Hua Huang, Dong Wang, Hui Zhang, Wen-Shan Gui, Jun Zhang, Zhen-Jia Lin, Ying-Tong Meng, Xiao Wei, Ying-Tao Jie, Peter M. Grace, Long-Jun Wu, Li-Jun Zhou, Xian-Guo Liu
      Pages: 1059 - 1078
      Abstract: Emerging clinical and experimental evidence demonstrates that neuroinflammation plays an important role in cognitive impairment associated with neuropathic pain. However, how peripheral nerve challenge induces remote inflammation in the brain remains largely unknown.Methods: The circulating leukocytes and plasma C-X-C motif chemokine 12 (CXCL12) and brain perivascular macrophages (PVMs) were analyzed by flow cytometry, Western blotting, ELISA, and immunostaining in spared nerve injury (SNI) mice. The memory function was evaluated with a novel object recognition test (NORT) in mice and with Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) in chronic pain patients.Results: The classical monocytes and CXCL12 in the blood, PVMs in the perivascular space, and gliosis in the brain, particularly in the hippocampus, were persistently increased following SNI in mice. Using the transgenic CCR2RFP/+ and CX3CR1GFP/+ mice, we discovered that at least some of the PVMs were recruited from circulating monocytes. The SNI-induced increase in hippocampal PVMs, gliosis, and memory decline were substantially prevented by either depleting circulating monocytes via intravenous injection of clodronate liposomes or blockade of CXCL12-CXCR4 signaling. On the contrary, intravenous injection of CXCL12 at a pathological concentration in naïve mice mimicked SNI effects. Significantly, we found that circulating monocytes and plasma CXCL12 were elevated in chronic pain patients, and both of them were closely correlated with memory decline.Conclusion: CXCL12-mediated monocyte recruitment into the perivascular space is critical for neuroinflammation and the resultant cognitive impairment in neuropathic pain.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Therapeutic inhibition of miR-802 protects against obesity through
           AMPK-mediated regulation of hepatic lipid metabolism

    • Authors: Yangyue Ni; Zhipeng Xu, Chen Li, Yuxiao Zhu, Ran Liu, Fan Zhang, Hao Chang, Maining Li, Liang Sheng, Zhong Li, Min Hou, Lin Chen, Hong You, Donald P. McManus, Wei Hu, Yinong Duan, Yu Liu, Minjun Ji
      Pages: 1079 - 1099
      Abstract: Background: The host-parasite relationship is based on subtle interplay between parasite survival strategies and host defense mechanisms. It is well known that helminth infection, which afflicts more than one billion people globally, correlates with a decreased prevalence of obesity. Dissecting the underlying mechanisms can provide new targets for treating obesity from the host-parasite interaction perspective.Methods: C57BL/6 mice received a normal or high-fat diet (HFD) with or without Sjp40 (one main component of schistosome-derived soluble egg antigens) treatment. Both the loss and gain-of-function experiments by the inhibitor suppression and lentivirus treatment of miR-802 were utilized to elucidate the role of miR-802/AMPK axis in host lipid metabolism. Hepatocyte lipogenesis assay and metabolic parameters were assessed both in vivo and in vitro. The potential interactions among Sjp40, CD36, miR-802, Prkab1, and AMPK were clarified by pull-down, miRNA expression microarray, quantitative RT-PCR, dual-luciferase reporter assay, and western blotting analysis.Results: We showed a link between decreased miR-802 and impaired lipid metabolism in Schistosoma japonicum infected mice. The decreased miR-802 promotes murine Prkab1 or human Prkaa1 expression, respectively, which increases levels of phosphorylated AMPK, resulting in a decrease in hepatic lipogenesis. Also, injection with schistosome-derived soluble egg antigens (SEA) attenuated metabolism. We demonstrated that Sjp40 as a main component of SEA interacted with CD36 on hepatocytes to inhibit miR-802, resulting in the activation of AMPK pathway and subsequent attenuation of lipogenesis.Collectively: Our study reveals the significant role of miR-802/AMPK axis in hepatic lipid metabolism and identifies the therapeutic potential of Sjp40 in treating obesity-related fatty liver.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • IGF2BP1 overexpression stabilizes PEG10 mRNA in an m6A-dependent manner
           and promotes endometrial cancer progression

    • Authors: Lin Zhang; Yicong Wan, Zihan Zhang, Yi Jiang, Zhiyue Gu, Xiaoling Ma, Sipei Nie, Jing Yang, Jinghe Lang, Wenjun Cheng, Lan Zhu
      Pages: 1100 - 1114
      Abstract: Rationale: N6-methyladenosine (m6A) mRNA methylation is the most abundant chemical posttranscriptional modification in mRNA and is involved in the regulation of a number of biological processes. Insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding protein 1 (IGF2BP1) has recently been reported as having the capacity to recognize m6A sites in mRNA and plays a role in regulating mRNA metabolization. However, it is unclear which genes IGF2BP1 targets to identify m6A sites and what are their respective functions in endometrial cancer (EC).Methods: Quantitative PCR, western blot and immunohistochemistry were used to measure IGF2BP1 expression in EC cell lines and tissues. Xenograft experiments were performed to examine the in vivo role of IGF2BP1 in EC cell growth. RNA-binding protein immunoprecipitation sequencing, methylated RNA-binding protein immunoprecipitation sequencing and RNA-sequencing were also conducted to identify potential IGF2BP1 targets involved in EC regulation. Co-immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry were used to identify IGF2BP1-interacting proteins.Results: IGF2BP1 expression increased in EC, and high expression of this protein correlated with poor prognosis. IGF2BP1 overexpression/knockdown can promote (and inhibit) cell proliferation and regulate the tumor cell cycle and cancer progression, both in vivo and in vitro. Mechanistically, IGF2BP1 can recognize m6A sites in the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) of Paternally Expressed Gene 10 (PEG10) mRNA and recruits polyadenylate-binding protein 1 (PABPC1) to enhance PEG10 mRNA stability, which consequently promotes PEG10 protein expression. Additionally, it would appear that a large number of PEG10 proteins bind p16 and p18 gene promoter sequences, thereby repressing expression and accelerating the cell cycle.Conclusion: This investigation found that IGF2BP1 has a crucial role in the m6A-dependent regulatory mechanism for endometrial cancer. This study provides new insights into our understanding of disease progression and provides another potential route for understanding biological functions.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Putting the BRK on breast cancer: From molecular target to therapeutics

    • Authors: Hui Li Ang; Yi Yuan, Xianning Lai, Tuan Zea Tan, Lingzhi Wang, Benjamin BoJun Huang, Vijay Pandey, Ruby Yun-Ju Huang, Peter E. Lobie, Boon Cher Goh, Gautam Sethi, Celestial T. Yap, Ching Wan Chan, Soo Chin Lee, Alan Prem Kumar
      Pages: 1115 - 1128
      Abstract: BReast tumor Kinase (BRK, also known as PTK6) is a non-receptor tyrosine kinase that is highly expressed in breast carcinomas while having low expression in the normal mammary gland, which hints at the oncogenic nature of this kinase in breast cancer. In the past twenty-six years since the discovery of BRK, an increasing number of studies have strived to understand the cellular roles of BRK in breast cancer. Since then, BRK has been found both in vitro and in vivo to activate a multitude of oncoproteins to promote cell proliferation, metastasis, and cancer development. The compelling evidence concerning the oncogenic roles of BRK has also led, since then, to the rapid and exponential development of inhibitors against BRK. This review highlights recent advances in BRK biology in contributing to the “hallmarks of cancer”, as well as BRK's therapeutic significance. Importantly, this review consolidates all known inhibitors of BRK activity and highlights the connection between drug action and BRK-mediated effects. Despite the volume of inhibitors designed against BRK, none have progressed into clinical phase. Understanding the successes and challenges of these inhibitor developments are crucial for the future improvements of new inhibitors that can be clinically relevant.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • ERK1/2 inhibition reduces vascular calcification by activating
           miR-126-3p-DKK1/LRP6 pathway

    • Authors: Peng Zeng; Jie Yang, Lipei Liu, Xiaoxiao Yang, Zhi Yao, Chuanrui Ma, Haibo Zhu, Jiamin Su, Qian Zhao, Ke Feng, Shu Yang, Yan Zhu, Xiaoju Li, Wenguang Wang, Yajun Duan, Jihong Han, Yuanli Chen
      Pages: 1129 - 1146
      Abstract: Rationale: Vascular microcalcification increases the risk of rupture of vulnerable atherosclerotic lesions. Inhibition of ERK1/2 reduces atherosclerosis in animal models while its role in vascular calcification and the underlying mechanisms remains incompletely understood.Methods: Levels of activated ERK1/2, DKK1, LRP6 and BMP2 in human calcific aortic valves were determined. ApoE deficient mice received ERK1/2 inhibitor (U0126) treatment, followed by determination of atherosclerosis, calcification and miR-126-3p production. C57BL/6J mice were used to determine the effect of U0126 on Vitamin D3 (VD3)-induced medial arterial calcification. HUVECs, HAECs and HASMCs were used to determine the effects of ERK1/2 inhibitor or siRNA on SMC calcification and the involved mechanisms.Results: We observed the calcification in human aortic valves was positively correlated to ERK1/2 activity. At cellular and animal levels, U0126 reduced intimal calcification in atherosclerotic lesions of high-fat diet-fed apoE deficient mice, medial arterial calcification in VD3-treated C57BL/6J mice, and calcification in cultured SMCs and arterial rings. The reduction of calcification was attributed to ERK1/2 inhibition-reduced expression of ALP, BMP2 and RUNX2 by activating DKK1 and LRP6 expression, and consequently inactivating both canonical and non-canonical Wnt signaling pathways in SMCs. Furthermore, we determined ERK1/2 inhibition activated miR-126-3p production by facilitating its maturation through activation of AMPKα-mediated p53 phosphorylation, and the activated miR-126-3p from ECs and SMCs played a key role in anti-vascular calcification actions of ERK1/2 inhibition.Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that activation of miR-126-3p production in ECs/SMCs and interactions between ECs and SMCs play an important role in reduction of vascular calcification by ERK1/2 inhibition.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Intravenous transplantation of olfactory ensheathing cells reduces
           neuroinflammation after spinal cord injury via interleukin-1 receptor
           antagonist

    • Authors: Lijian Zhang; Xiaoqing Zhuang, Päivi Kotitalo, Thomas Keller, Anna Krzyczmonik, Merja Haaparanta-Solin, Olof Solin, Sarita Forsback, Tove J. Grönroos, Chunlei Han, Francisco R. López-Picón, Hechun Xia
      Pages: 1147 - 1161
      Abstract: Rationale: Olfactory ensheathing cell (OEC) transplantation has emerged as a promising therapy for spinal cord injury (SCI) repair. In the present study, we explored the possible mechanisms of OECs transplantation underlying neuroinflammation modulation.Methods: Spinal cord inflammation after intravenous OEC transplantation was detected in vivo and ex vivo by translocator protein PET tracer [18F]F-DPA. To track transplanted cells, OECs were transduced with enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) and HSV1-39tk using lentiviral vector and were monitored by fluorescence imaging and [18F]FHBG study. Protein microarray analysis and ELISA studies were employed to analyze differential proteins in the injured spinal cord after OEC transplantation. The anti-inflammation function of the upregulated protein was also proved by in vitro gene knocking down experiments and OECs/microglia co-culture experiment.Results: The inflammation in the spinal cord was decreased after OEC intravenous transplantation. The HSV1-39tk-eGFP-transduced OECs showed no accumulation in major organs and were found at the injury site. After OEC transplantation, in the spinal cord tissues, the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) was highly upregulated while many chemokines, including pro-inflammatory chemokines IL-1α, IL-1β were downregulated. In vitro studies confirmed that lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulus triggered OECs to secrete IL-1Ra. OECs significantly suppressed LPS-stimulated microglial activity, whereas IL-1Ra gene knockdown significantly reduced their ability to modulate microglial activity.Conclusion: The OECs that reached the lesion site were activated by the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines from activated microglia in the lesion site and secreted IL-1Ra to reduce neuroinflammation. Intravenous transplantation of OECs has high therapeutic effectiveness for the treatment of SCI via the secretion of IL-1Ra to reduce neuroinflammation.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Three-dimensional Imaging Coupled with Topological Quantification Uncovers
           Retinal Vascular Plexuses Undergoing Obliteration

    • Authors: Chih-Chiang Chang; Alison Chu, Scott Meyer, Yichen Ding, Michel M. Sun, Parinaz Abiri, Kyung In Baek, Varun Gudapati, Xili Ding, Pierre Guihard, Kristina I. Bostrom, Song Li, Lynn K. Gordon, Jie J. Zheng, Tzung K. Hsiai
      Pages: 1162 - 1175
      Abstract: Introduction: Murine models provide microvascular insights into the 3-D network disarray seen in retinopathy and cardiovascular diseases. Light-sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) has emerged to capture retinal vasculature in 3-D, allowing for assessment of the progression of retinopathy and the potential to screen new therapeutic targets in mice. We hereby coupled LSFM, also known as selective plane illumination microscopy, with topological quantification, to characterize the retinal vascular plexuses undergoing preferential obliteration.Method and Result: In postnatal mice, we revealed the 3-D retinal microvascular network in which the vertical sprouts bridge the primary (inner) and secondary (outer) plexuses, whereas, in an oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) mouse model, we demonstrated preferential obliteration of the secondary plexus and bridging vessels with a relatively unscathed primary plexus. Using clustering coefficients and Euler numbers, we computed the local versus global vascular connectivity. While local connectivity was preserved (p > 0.05, n = 5 vs. normoxia), the global vascular connectivity in hyperoxia-exposed retinas was significantly reduced (p < 0.05, n = 5 vs. normoxia). Applying principal component analysis (PCA) for auto-segmentation of the vertical sprouts, we corroborated the obliteration of the vertical sprouts bridging the secondary plexuses, as evidenced by impaired vascular branching and connectivity, and reduction in vessel volumes and lengths (p < 0.05, n = 5 vs. normoxia).Conclusion: Coupling 3-D LSFM with topological quantification uncovered the retinal vasculature undergoing hyperoxia-induced obliteration from the secondary (outer) plexus to the vertical sprouts. The use of clustering coefficients, Euler's number, and PCA provided new network insights into OIR-associated vascular obliteration, with translational significance for investigating therapeutic interventions to prevent visual impairment.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Retraction of “MICAL2 Mediates p53 Ubiquitin Degradation through
           Oxidating p53 Methionine 40 and 160 and Promotes Colorectal Cancer
           Malignance”

    • Authors: Jinping Lu; Yuejin Li, Yuanzhong Wu, Shan Zhou, Chaojun Duan, Zigang Dong, Tiebang Kang, Faqing Tang
      Pages: 1176 - 1176
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Apolipoprotein E, low-density lipoprotein receptor, and immune cells
           control blood-brain barrier penetration by AAV-PHP.eB in mice

    • Authors: Bao-Shu Xie; Xin Wang, Yao-Hua Pan, Gan Jiang, Jun-Feng Feng, Yong Lin
      Pages: 1177 - 1191
      Abstract: Rationale: The blood-brain barrier (BBB) prevents the effective delivery of therapeutic molecules to the central nervous system (CNS). A recently generated adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based vector, AAV-PHP.eB, has been found to penetrate the BBB more efficiently than other vectors including AAV-PHP.B. However, little is known about the mechanisms. In this study, we investigated how AAV-PHP.eB penetrates the BBB in mice.Methods: We injected AAV-PHP.eB into the bloodstream of wild-type C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice as well as mouse strains carrying genetic mutation in apolipoprotein E gene (Apoe) or low-density lipoprotein receptor gene (Ldlr), or lacking various components of the immune system. Then, we evaluated AAV-PHP.eB transduction to the brain and spinal cord in these mice.Results: We found that the transduction to the CNS of intravenous AAV-PHP.eB was more efficient in C57BL/6 than BALB/c mice, and significantly reduced in Apoe or Ldlr knockout C57BL/6 mice compared to wild-type C57BL/6 mice. Moreover, poor CNS transduction in BALB/c mice was dramatically increased by B-cell or natural killer-cell depletion.Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that the ApoE-LDLR pathway underlies the CNS tropism of AAV-PHP.eB and that the immune system contributes to the strain specificity of AAV-PHP.eB.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Suppressing Sart1 to modulate macrophage polarization by siRNA-loaded
           liposomes: a promising therapeutic strategy for pulmonary fibrosis

    • Authors: Ting Pan; Qing Zhou, Kang Miao, Lei Zhang, Guorao Wu, Jun Yu, Yongjian Xu, Weining Xiong, Yong Li, Yi Wang
      Pages: 1192 - 1206
      Abstract: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic and diffuse form of interstitial lung disease of unknown etiology with a fatal outcome. Although various strategies for IPF have been developed over the last few decades, no significant positive impact on the prognosis of IPF has been observed. According to the current paradigm, macrophages have been recognized to play a significant role in IPF pathogenesis. Here, we report a potential nanomedicine-based gene therapy for IPF based on regulate macrophage polarization.Method: C57BL/6 mice were obtained and used to establish a bleomycin (BLM)-induced pulmonary fibrosis animal model, and Sart1 siRNA-loaded liposomes were designed for in vivo experiment. The experimental animals were administered BLM intratracheally on day 0 and treated with Sart1 siRNA on days 14 and 17. In the in vitro experiment, we further examined the function of Sart1 in macrophages.Results: Our data indicated that the liposomes could passively target the fibrotic area in the lung and efficiently accumulate in macrophages. The suppression of Sart1 by siRNA-loaded liposomes significantly protected mice against BLM-induced lung injury and fibrosis, which was attributed to attenuated M2 macrophage infiltration in the lung.Conclusion: Our study provides a valuable reference for modulating macrophage polarization and a promising strategy for the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis in clinical settings.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Treatment of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East
           respiratory syndrome (MERS), and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): a
           systematic review of in vitro, in vivo, and clinical trials

    • Authors: Young Joo Han; Keum Hwa Lee, Sojung Yoon, Seoung Wan Nam, Seohyun Ryu, Dawon Seong, Jae Seok Kim, Jun Young Lee, Jae Won Yang, Jinhee Lee, Ai Koyanagi, Sung Hwi Hong, Elena Dragioti, Joaquim Radua, Lee Smith, Hans Oh, Ramy Abou Ghayda, Andreas Kronbichler, Maria Effenberger, Daniela Kresse, Sara Denicolò, Woosun Kang, Louis Jacob, Hanwul Shin, Jae Il Shin
      Pages: 1207 - 1231
      Abstract: Rationale: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread worldwide and poses a threat to humanity. However, no specific therapy has been established for this disease yet. We conducted a systematic review to highlight therapeutic agents that might be effective in treating COVID-19.Methods: We searched Medline, Medrxiv.org, and reference lists of relevant publications to identify articles of in vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies on treatments for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and COVID-19 published in English until the last update on October 11, 2020.Results: We included 36 studies on SARS, 30 studies on MERS, and 10 meta-analyses on SARS and MERS in this study. Through 12,200 title and 830 full-text screenings for COVID-19, eight in vitro studies, 46 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on 6,886 patients, and 29 meta-analyses were obtained and investigated. There was no therapeutic agent that consistently resulted in positive outcomes across SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. Remdesivir showed a therapeutic effect for COVID-19 in two RCTs involving the largest number of total participants (n = 1,461). Other therapies that showed an effect in at least two RCTs for COVID-19 were sofosbuvir/daclatasvir (n = 114), colchicine (n = 140), IFN-β1b (n = 193), and convalescent plasma therapy (n = 126).Conclusions: This review provides information to help establish treatment and research directions for COVID-19 based on currently available evidence. Further RCTs are required.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • M2 microglial small extracellular vesicles reduce glial scar formation via
           the miR-124/STAT3 pathway after ischemic stroke in mice

    • Authors: Zongwei Li; Yaying Song, Tingting He, Ruoxue Wen, Yongfang Li, Tingting Chen, Shuxian Huang, Yongting Wang, Yaohui Tang, FanXia Shen, Heng-Li Tian, Guo-Yuan Yang, Zhijun Zhang
      Pages: 1232 - 1248
      Abstract: Rationale: Glial scars present a major obstacle for neuronal regeneration after stroke. Thus, approaches to promote their degradation and inhibit their formation are beneficial for stroke recovery. The interaction of microglia and astrocytes is known to be involved in glial scar formation after stroke; however, how microglia affect glial scar formation remains unclear.Methods: Mice were treated daily with M2 microglial small extracellular vesicles through tail intravenous injections from day 1 to day 7 after middle cerebral artery occlusion. Glial scar, infarct volume, neurological score were detected after ischemia. microRNA and related protein were examined in peri-infarct areas of the brain following ischemia.Results: M2 microglial small extracellular vesicles reduced glial scar formation and promoted recovery after stroke and were enriched in miR-124. Furthermore, M2 microglial small extracellular vesicle treatment decreased the expression of the astrocyte proliferation gene signal transducer and activator of transcription 3, one of the targets of miR-124, and glial fibrillary acidic protein and inhibited astrocyte proliferation both in vitro and in vivo. It also decreased Notch 1 expression and increased Sox2 expression in astrocytes, which suggested that astrocytes had transformed into neuronal progenitor cells. Finally, miR-124 knockdown in M2 microglial small extracellular vesicles blocked their effects on glial scars and stroke recovery.Conclusions: Our results showed, for the first time, that microglia regulate glial scar formation via small extracellular vesicles, indicating that M2 microglial small extracellular vesicles could represent a new therapeutic approach for stroke.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 6 regulates
           cardiomyocyte-derived paracrine signaling to ameliorate cardiac fibrosis

    • Authors: Xiang Wang; Yan Zou, Zhidan Chen, Yang Li, Le Pan, Ying Wang, Ming Liu, Chao Yin, Jian Wu, Chunjie Yang, Lei Zhang, Chenze Li, Zheyong Huang, Daowen Wang, Juying Qian, Junbo Ge, Yunzeng Zou, Hui Gong
      Pages: 1249 - 1268
      Abstract: Rationale: Maladaptive cardiac remodeling is a critical step in the progression of heart failure. Low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 6 (LRP6), a co-receptor of Wnt, has been implicated in cardiac protection. We aimed to study the role of cardiomyocyte-expressed LRP6 in cardiac remodeling under chronic pressure overload.Methods: Cardiac parameters were analyzed in inducible cardiac-specific LRP6 overexpressing and control mice subjected to transverse aortic constriction (TAC).Results: Cardiac LRP6 was increased at an early phase after TAC. Cardiomyocyte-specific LRP6 overexpression improved cardiac function and inhibited cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis four weeks after TAC. The overexpression significantly inhibited β-catenin activation, likely contributing to the inhibitory effect on cardiac hypertrophy after TAC. LRP6 overexpression reduced the expression and secretion of Wnt5a and Wnt11 by cardiomyocytes, and knockdown of Wnt5a and Wnt11 greatly inhibited cardiac fibrosis and dysfunction under pressure overload in vitro and in vivo. Cardiomyocyte-expressed LRP6 interacted with cathepsin D (CTSD, a protease) and promoted the degradation of Wnt5a and Wnt11, inhibiting cardiac fibrosis and dysfunction induced by TAC. The protease inhibitor leupeptin attenuated the interaction between LRP6 and CTSD, enhanced the expression of Wnt5a and Wnt11, and deteriorated cardiac function and fibrosis in cardiomyocyte-specific LRP6-overexpressing mice under pressure overload. Mutants from human patients, P1427Q of LRP6 and G316R of CTSD significantly inhibited the interaction between LRP6 and CTSD and increased Wnt5a and Wnt11 expression.Conclusion: Cardiomyocyte-expressed LRP6 promoted the degradation of Wnt5a and Wnt11 by regulating CTSD and inhibited cardiac fibrosis under pressure overload. Our study demonstrated a novel role of LRP6 as an anti-fibrosis regulator.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Effects of prenatal photobiomodulation treatment on neonatal hypoxic
           ischemia in rat offspring

    • Authors: Luodan Yang; Yan Dong, Chongyun Wu, Hannah Youngblood, Yong Li, Xuemei Zong, Lei Li, Tongda Xu, Quanguang Zhang
      Pages: 1269 - 1294
      Abstract: Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic (HI) injury is a severe complication often leading to neonatal death and long-term neurobehavioral deficits in children. Currently, the only treatment option available for neonatal HI injury is therapeutic hypothermia. However, the necessary specialized equipment, possible adverse side effects, and limited effectiveness of this therapy creates an urgent need for the development of new HI treatment methods. Photobiomodulation (PBM) has been shown to be neuroprotective against multiple brain disorders in animal models, as well as limited human studies. However, the effects of PBM treatment on neonatal HI injury remain unclear.Methods: Two-minutes PBM (808 nm continuous wave laser, 8 mW/cm2 on neonatal brain) was applied three times weekly on the abdomen of pregnant rats from gestation day 1 (GD1) to GD21. After neonatal right common carotid artery ligation, cortex- and hippocampus-related behavioral deficits due to HI insult were measured using a battery of behavioral tests. The effects of HI insult and PBM pretreatment on infarct size; synaptic, dendritic, and white matter damage; neuronal degeneration; apoptosis; mitochondrial function; mitochondrial fragmentation; oxidative stress; and gliosis were then assessed.Results: Prenatal PBM treatment significantly improved the survival rate of neonatal rats and decreased infarct size after HI insult. Behavioral tests revealed that prenatal PBM treatment significantly alleviated cortex-related motor deficits and hippocampus-related memory and learning dysfunction. In addition, mitochondrial function and integrity were protected in HI animals treated with PBM. Additional studies revealed that prenatal PBM treatment significantly alleviated HI-induced neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, and myeloid cell/astrocyte activation.Conclusion: Prenatal PBM treatment exerts neuroprotective effects on neonatal HI rats. Underlying mechanisms for this neuroprotection may include preservation of mitochondrial function, reduction of inflammation, and decreased oxidative stress. Our findings support the possible use of PBM treatment in high-risk pregnancies to alleviate or prevent HI-induced brain injury in the perinatal period.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Blocking NHE1 stimulates glioma tumor immunity by restoring OXPHOS
           function of myeloid cells

    • Authors: Md Nabiul Hasan; Lanxin Luo, Dawei Ding, Shanshan Song, Mohammad Iqbal H. Bhuiyan, Ruijia Liu, Lesley M. Foley, Xiudong Guan, Gary Kohanbash, T. Kevin Hitchens, Maria G. Castro, Zhongling Zhang, Dandan Sun
      Pages: 1295 - 1309
      Abstract: Background: Immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME) in glioblastoma (GBM) is one of the contributing factors for failed immunotherapies. Therefore, there is an urgent need to better understand TME and to identify novel modulators of TME for more effective GBM therapies. We hypothesized that H+ extrusion protein Na/H exchanger 1 (NHE1) plays a role in dysregulation of glucose metabolism and immunosuppression of GBM. We investigated the efficacy of blockade of NHE1 activity in combination with temozolomide (TMZ) therapy in increasing anti-tumor immunity.Methods: Mouse syngeneic intracranial glioma model was used to test four treatment regimens: DMSO (Vehicle-control), TMZ, NHE1 specific inhibitor HOE642, or TMZ+HOE642 (T+H) combination. Ex vivo 1H/19Fluorine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with cell tracking agent Vsense was performed to monitor the infiltration of glioma-associated microglia/myeloid cells (GAMs). Glucose metabolism and transcriptome profiles were analyzed by Seahorse analyzer and bulk RNA-sequencing. The impact of selective Nhe1 deletion in GAMs on sensitivity to anti-PD-1 therapy was evaluated in transgenic NHE1 knockout (KO) mice.Results: Among the tested treatment regimens, the T+H combination therapy significantly stimulated the infiltration of GAMs and T-cells; up-regulated Th1 activation, and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) pathway genes, increased glucose uptake and mitochondrial mass, and decreased aerobic glycolysis in GAMs. Selective deletion of Nhe1 in Cx3cr1+ Nhe1 KO mice increased anti-tumor immunity and sensitivity to TMZ plus anti-PD-1 combinatorial therapy.Conclusions: NHE1 plays a role in developing glioma immunosuppressive TME in part by dysregulating glucose metabolism of GAMs and emerges as a therapeutic target for improving glioma immunity.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • From biomarkers to therapeutic targets: the promise of PD-L1 in thyroid
           autoimmunity and cancer

    • Authors: Grégoire D'Andréa; Sandra Lassalle, Nicolas Guevara, Baharia Mograbi, Paul Hofman
      Pages: 1310 - 1325
      Abstract: The programmed cell death-1/programmed cell death ligand-1 (PD-1/PD-L1) immune checkpoint proteins hold promise as diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic targets for precision oncology. By restoring antitumor T cell surveillance, the high degree of effectiveness of the immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) has revolutionized cancer treatment. However, the majority of patients (65-80 %) treated with ICIs experience significant side effects, called immune-related adverse events (irAEs), resulting in autoimmune damage to various organs. Therefore, broadening the clinical applicability of these treatments to all cancer types requires an improved understanding of the mechanisms linking cancer immune evasion and autoimmunity. The thyroid is the endocrine gland the most frequently involved in autoimmunity and cancer, the growing incidence of which is raising serious public health issues worldwide. In addition, the risk of developing thyroid cancer is increased in patients with autoimmune thyroid disease and thyroid dysfunction is one of the most common irAEs, especially with PD‑1/PD-L1 blockade. Therefore, we chose the thyroid as a model for the study of the link between autoimmunity, irAEs, and cancer. We provide an update into the current knowledge of the PD‑1/PD-L1 axis and discuss the growing interest of this axis in the diagnosis, prognosis, and management of thyroid diseases within the context of autoimmunity and cancer, while embracing personalized medicine.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Identification of novel CD44v6-binding peptides that block CD44v6 and
           deliver a pro-apoptotic peptide to tumors to inhibit tumor growth and
           metastasis in mice

    • Authors: Fatima Khan; Smriti Gurung, Gowri Rangaswamy Gunassekaran, Sri Murugan Poongkavithai Vadevoo, Lianhua Chi, Uttapol Permpoon, Md. Enamul Haque, Yun-Ki Lee, Soo-Woong Lee, Soyoun Kim, Byungheon Lee
      Pages: 1326 - 1344
      Abstract: CD44v6, a splice variant of the cell surface glycoprotein CD44, acts as a co-receptor for c-Met and is upregulated in tumors with high metastatic potential.Methods: We screened a phage-displayed peptide library for peptides that selectively bind to CD44v6-overexpressing cells and exploited them to block CD44v6 and deliver a pro-apoptotic peptide to tumors for cancer therapy.Results: CNLNTIDTC (NLN) and CNEWQLKSC (NEW) peptides bound preferentially to CD44v6-high cells than to CD44v6-low cells. The binding affinities of NLN and NEW to CD44v6 protein were 253 ± 79 and 85 ± 18 nM, respectively. Peptide binding to CD44v6-high cells was inhibited by the knockdown of CD44v6 gene expression and competition with an anti-CD44v6 antibody. A pull-down assay with biotin-labeled peptides enriched CD44v6 from cell lysates. NLN and NEW induced CD44v6 internalization and inhibited hepatocyte growth factor-induced c-Met internalization, c-Met and Erk phosphorylation, and cell migration and invasion. In mice harboring tumors, intravenously administered NLN and NEW homed to the tumors and inhibited metastasis to the lungs. When combined with crizotinib, a c-Met inhibitor, treatment with each peptide inhibited metastatic growth more efficiently than each peptide or crizotinib alone. In addition, KLAKLAKKLAKLAK pro-apoptotic peptide guided by NLN (NLN-KLA) or NEW (NEW-KLA) killed tumor cells and inhibited tumor growth and metastasis. No significant systemic side effects were observed after treatments.Conclusions: These results suggest that NLN and NEW are promising metastasis-inhibiting peptide therapeutics and targeting moieties for CD44v6-expressing metastases.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Targeting transforming growth factor-β signaling for enhanced cancer
           chemotherapy

    • Authors: Jitang Chen; Ze-yang Ding, Si Li, Sha Liu, Chen Xiao, Zifu Li, Bi-xiang Zhang, Xiao-ping Chen, Xiangliang Yang
      Pages: 1345 - 1363
      Abstract: During the past decades, drugs targeting transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) signaling have received tremendous attention for late-stage cancer treatment since TGFβ signaling has been recognized as a prime driver for tumor progression and metastasis. Nonetheless, in healthy and pre-malignant tissues, TGFβ functions as a potent tumor suppressor. Furthermore, TGFβ signaling plays a key role in normal development and homeostasis by regulating cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, apoptosis, and immune evasion, and by suppressing tumor-associated inflammation. Therefore, targeting TGFβ signaling for cancer therapy is challenging. Recently, we and others showed that blocking TGFβ signaling increased chemotherapy efficacy, particularly for nanomedicines. In this review, we briefly introduce the TGFβ signaling pathway, and the multifaceted functions of TGFβ signaling in cancer, including regulating the tumor microenvironment (TME) and the behavior of cancer cells. We also summarize TGFβ targeting agents. Then, we highlight TGFβ inhibition strategies to restore the extracellular matrix (ECM), regulate the tumor vasculature, reverse epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and impair the stemness of cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) to enhance cancer chemotherapy efficacy. Finally, the current challenges and future opportunities in targeting TGFβ signaling for cancer therapy are discussed.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Molecular stratification by BCL2A1 and AIM2 provides additional prognostic
           value in penile squamous cell carcinoma

    • Authors: Xingliang Tan; Dong Chen, Shengjie Guo, Yanjun Wang, Yuantao Zou, Zhiming Wu, Fangjian Zhou, Zike Qin, Zhuowei Liu, Yun Cao, Chunhua Lin, Gangjun Yuan, Kai Yao
      Pages: 1364 - 1376
      Abstract: Background: Lymph node metastasis is the most unfavorable prognostic factor of penile squamous cell carcinoma (PSCC). However, patients with the same lymph node status have different outcomes, and molecular classifiers for precise prognostic assessments are lacking.Methods: Comprehensive genomic profiling and high-content proliferation screening were performed in eight PSCC and normal tissue pairs and in cell lines. BCL2A1 and AIM2 were selected and further evaluated by qPCR and Western blot. The clinical relevance and prognostic value of the target genes were validated via immunohistochemistry in a cohort of 220 PSCC patients with a defined pN stage. Finally, the biological functions and molecular mechanisms of BCL2A1 and AIM2 were investigated in vitro and in vivo.Results: BCL2A1 and AIM2 were both upregulated in PSCC tissues and associated mostly with cell proliferation. Staining for either BCL2A1 or AIM2 revealed that both are correlated with pN status, extranodal extension, clinical stage and cancer-specific survival (CSS). Compared to patients who are single-positive or double-negative for BCL2A1 and AIM2, those overexpressing both genes had a higher risk of tumor progression and the poorest survival in the pN0 (5-year CSS: 63.3% vs. 94.9% and 100.0%, respectively, p = 0.000) and pN+ subsets (5-year CSS: 24.1% vs. 45.7% and 55.1%, respectively, p = 0.035). Molecular biofunction and mechanistic studies demonstrated that BCL2A1 and AIM2 knockdown inhibited tumorigenesis via the AIM2/NF-κB/BCL2A1/MAPK/c-Myc signaling pathway.Conclusions: BCL2A1 and AIM2 promote PSCC progression. Integrating BCL2A1 and AIM2 as novel molecular classifiers with pN stage provides additional information for the prognosis and treatment of PSCC patients.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Phosphoproteomics identify arachidonic-acid-regulated signal transduction
           pathways modulating macrophage functions with implications for ovarian
           cancer

    • Authors: Raimund Dietze; Mohamad K. Hammoud, María Gómez-Serrano, Annika Unger, Tim Bieringer, Florian Finkernagel, Anna M. Sokol, Andrea Nist, Thorsten Stiewe, Silke Reinartz, Viviane Ponath, Christian Preußer, Elke Pogge von Strandmann, Sabine Müller-Brüsselbach, Johannes Graumann, Rolf Müller
      Pages: 1377 - 1395
      Abstract: Arachidonic acid (AA) is a polyunsaturated fatty acid present at high concentrations in the ovarian cancer (OC) microenvironment and associated with a poor clinical outcome. In the present study, we have unraveled a potential link between AA and macrophage functions.Methods: AA-triggered signal transduction was studied in primary monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) by phosphoproteomics, transcriptional profiling, measurement of intracellular Ca2+ accumulation and reactive oxygen species production in conjunction with bioinformatic analyses. Functional effects were investigated by actin filament staining, quantification of macropinocytosis and analysis of extracellular vesicle release.Results: We identified the ASK1 - p38δ/α (MAPK13/14) axis as a central constituent of signal transduction pathways triggered by non-metabolized AA. This pathway was induced by the Ca2+-triggered activation of calmodulin kinase II, and to a minor extent by ROS generation in a subset of donors. Activated p38 in turn was linked to a transcriptional stress response associated with a poor relapse-free survival. Consistent with the phosphorylation of the p38 substrate HSP27 and the (de)phosphorylation of multiple regulators of Rho family GTPases, AA impaired actin filament organization and inhibited actin-driven macropinocytosis. AA also affected the phosphorylation of proteins regulating vesicle biogenesis, and consistently, AA enhanced the release of tetraspanin-containing exosome-like vesicles. Finally, we identified phospholipase A2 group 2A (PLA2G2A) as the clinically most relevant enzyme producing extracellular AA, providing further potentially theranostic options.Conclusion: Our results suggest that AA contributes to an unfavorable clinical outcome of OC by impacting the phenotype of tumor-associated macrophages. Besides critical AA-regulated signal transduction proteins identified in the present study, PLA2G2A might represent a potential prognostic tool and therapeutic target to interfere with OC progression.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Circular RNA circDLC1 inhibits MMP1-mediated liver cancer progression via
           interaction with HuR

    • Authors: Hailing Liu; Tian Lan, Hui Li, Lin Xu, Xing Chen, Haotian Liao, Xiangzheng Chen, Jinpeng Du, Yunshi Cai, Jinju Wang, Xuefeng Li, Jiwei Huang, Kefei Yuan, Yong Zeng
      Pages: 1396 - 1411
      Abstract: Rationale: circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been demonstrated to play a crucial role in cancer progression. KIAA1429, a key component of the m6A methyltransferase complex, has recently been reported to promote hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) progression by regulating the m6A methylation. The aim of present study is to investigate the role of circular RNAs in KIAA1429-mediated HCC progression.Methods: RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and methylated RNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (m6A-seq) were utilized to identify KIAA1429-regulated circRNAs. The effects of circDLC1 on proliferation and metastasis of hepatoma cells were examined in vitro and in vivo. RT-qPCR was used to measure the expression of circDLC1 in HCC tissues and hepatoma cells. RNA FISH, RIP assays and biotin-labeled RNA pull-down were used to investigate the downstream effector of circDLC1. The downstream targets of circDLC1 were identified using RNA-seq.Results: Our data demonstrated that circDLC1 was downregulated in HCC tissues and closely relevant to favorable prognosis. Overexpression of circDLC1 inhibited the proliferation and motility of hepatoma cells in vitro and in vivo, while silencing of circDLC1 played the opposite role. Mechanistic investigations revealed that circDLC1 could bind to RNA-binding protein HuR, which subsequently reduced the interaction between HuR and MMP1 mRNAs, and thus inhibited the expression of MMP1, ultimately contributing to inhibition of HCC progression.Conclusion: Our work suggests that circDLC1, a downstream target of KIAA1429, is a promising prognostic marker for HCC patients, and the circDLC1-HuR-MMP1 axis may serve as a potential therapeutic target for HCC treatment.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Network- and systems-based re-engineering of dendritic cells with
           non-coding RNAs for cancer immunotherapy

    • Authors: Xin Lai; Florian S. Dreyer, Martina Cantone, Martin Eberhardt, Kerstin F. Gerer, Tanushree Jaitly, Steffen Uebe, Christopher Lischer, Arif Ekici, Jürgen Wittmann, Hans-Martin Jäck, Niels Schaft, Jan Dörrie, Julio Vera
      Pages: 1412 - 1428
      Abstract: Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen-presenting cells that induce and regulate adaptive immunity by presenting antigens to T cells. Due to their coordinative role in adaptive immune responses, DCs have been used as cell-based therapeutic vaccination against cancer. The capacity of DCs to induce a therapeutic immune response can be enhanced by re-wiring of cellular signalling pathways with microRNAs (miRNAs).Methods: Since the activation and maturation of DCs is controlled by an interconnected signalling network, we deploy an approach that combines RNA sequencing data and systems biology methods to delineate miRNA-based strategies that enhance DC-elicited immune responses.Results: Through RNA sequencing of IKKβ-matured DCs that are currently being tested in a clinical trial on therapeutic anti-cancer vaccination, we identified 44 differentially expressed miRNAs. According to a network analysis, most of these miRNAs regulate targets that are linked to immune pathways, such as cytokine and interleukin signalling. We employed a network topology-oriented scoring model to rank the miRNAs, analysed their impact on immunogenic potency of DCs, and identified dozens of promising miRNA candidates, with miR-15a and miR-16 as the top ones. The results of our analysis are presented in a database that constitutes a tool to identify DC-relevant miRNA-gene interactions with therapeutic potential (https://www.synmirapy.net/dc-optimization).Conclusions: Our approach enables the systematic analysis and identification of functional miRNA-gene interactions that can be experimentally tested for improving DC immunogenic potency.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Breast cancer exosomes contribute to pre-metastatic niche formation and
           promote bone metastasis of tumor cells

    • Authors: Xinxin Yuan; Niansong Qian, Shukuan Ling, Yuheng Li, Weijia Sun, Jianwei Li, Ruikai Du, Guohui Zhong, Caizhi Liu, Guotao Yu, Dengchao Cao, Zizhong Liu, Yinbo Wang, Zhihong Qi, Yingpeng Yao, Fang Wang, Jingjing Liu, Shanshan Hao, Xiaoyan Jin, Yinlong Zhao, Jianqi Xue, Dingsheng Zhao, Xingcheng Gao, Shuai Liang, Youyou Li, Jinping Song, Shuyang Yu, Yingxian Li
      Pages: 1429 - 1445
      Abstract: Rationale: Breast cancer preferentially develops osteolytic bone metastasis, which makes patients suffer from pain, fractures and spinal cord compression. Accumulating evidences have shown that exosomes play an irreplaceable role in pre-metastatic niche formation as a communication messenger. However, the function of exosomes secreted by breast cancer cells remains incompletely understood in bone metastasis of breast cancer.Methods: Mouse xenograft models and intravenous injection of exosomes were applied for analyzing the role of breast cancer cell-derived exosomes in vivo. Effects of exosomes secreted by the mildly metastatic MDA231 and its subline SCP28 with highly metastatic ability on osteoclasts formation were confirmed by TRAP staining, ELISA, microcomputed tomography, histomorphometric analyses, and pit formation assay. The candidate exosomal miRNAs for promoting osteoclastogenesis were globally screened by RNA-seq. qRT-PCR, western blot, confocal microscopy, and RNA interfering were performed to validate the function of exosomal miRNA.Results: Implantation of SCP28 tumor cells in situ leads to increased osteoclast activity and reduced bone density, which contributes to the formation of pre-metastatic niche for tumor cells. We found SCP28 cells-secreted exosomes are critical factors in promoting osteoclast differentiation and activation, which consequently accelerates bone lesion to reconstruct microenvironment for bone metastasis. Mechanistically, exosomal miR-21 derived from SCP28 cells facilitates osteoclastogenesis through regulating PDCD4 protein levels. Moreover, miR-21 level in serum exosomes of breast cancer patients with bone metastasis is significantly higher than that in other subpopulations.Conclusion: Our results indicate that breast cancer cell-derived exosomes play an important role in promoting breast cancer bone metastasis, which is associated with the formation of pre-metastatic niche via transferring miR-21 to osteoclasts. The data from patient samples further reflect the significance of miR-21 as a potential target for clinical diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer bone metastasis.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Tofacitinib restores the balance of γδTreg/γδT17 cells in rheumatoid
           arthritis by inhibiting the NLRP3 inflammasome

    • Authors: Xinyu Yang; Ning Zhan, Yang Jin, Hanzhi Ling, Chipeng Xiao, Zhen Xie, Hao Zhong, Xinxin Yu, Runhua Tang, Jinglan Ma, Jubo Guan, Guoyu Yin, Gan Wu, Liangjing Lu, Jianguang Wang
      Pages: 1446 - 1457
      Abstract: Objective: Tofacitinib (TOF) is a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but the mechanism of its action remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the influence of TOF on gamma delta regulatory T-cell (γδTreg)/γδT17 cell balance in RA and the role of the nucleotide-binding domain (NOD)-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome in this process.Methods: We detected levels of inflammatory factors in the serum of RA patients before and after administration of TOF using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). A collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model was constructed to investigate the effect of TOF on arthritis symptoms, γδTreg/γδT17 cell balance and the NLRP3 inflammasome. We used bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) to study the effect of TOF on NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Nlrp3-/- mice were introduced to assess the influence of NLRP3 on γδT17 cell activation in RA.Results: TOF treatment decreased levels of γδT17 cell-related cytokine interleukin-17 (IL-17) in RA patients. In addition, TOF intervention in the CIA model reduced joint inflammation and damage, rebalanced the γδTreg/γδT17 cell ratio and inhibited excessive NLRP3 inflammasome activation in draining lymph nodes and arthritic joints. BMDM intervention experiments demonstrated that TOF decreased the level of secreted IL-1β via downregulation of NLRP3. Furthermore, experiments using Nlrp3-/- mice verified that the NLRP3 inflammasome mediated the effect of TOF on γδT17 cell activation.Conclusions: Recovery of γδTreg/γδT17 cell balance was a novel mechanism by which TOF alleviated RA. Meanwhile, NLRP3 played a pivotal role in the process of TOF-mediated γδT17 cell activation.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Proteasome activator PA200 maintains stability of histone marks during
           transcription and aging

    • Authors: Tian-Xia Jiang; Shuang Ma, Xia Han, Zi-Yu Luo, Qian-Qian Zhu, Tomoki Chiba, Wei Xie, Kui Lin, Xiao-Bo Qiu
      Pages: 1458 - 1472
      Abstract: The epigenetic inheritance relies on stability of histone marks, but various diseases, including aging-related disorders, are usually associated with alterations of histone marks. Whether and how the proteasome is responsible for maintaining the histone marks during transcription and aging remain unclear. The core histones can be degraded by the atypical proteasome, which contains the proteasome activator PA200, in an acetylation-dependent manner during somatic DNA damage response and spermiogenesis.Methods: By utilizing a substitute of methionine to label proteins metabolically, we analyzed histone degradation genome-wide by sequencing the DNA fragments following pulse-chase assays. The genome-wide RNA-sequencing analysis was performed to analyze transcription and chromatin-immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-sequencing was used for analyses of histone marks. The experimental models included gene-manipulated cells (including both mouse and yeast), mouse liver, and mice.Results: Degradation of H4 or the transcription-coupled histone variant H3.3 could be suppressed by deletion of PA200 or its yeast ortholog Blm10. The histone deacetylase inhibitor accelerated the degradation rates of H3, while the mutations of the putative acetyl-lysine-binding region of PA200 abolished histone degradation in the G1-arrested cells. Deletion of PA200 dramatically altered deposition of the active transcriptional hallmarks (H3K4me3 and H3K56ac) and transcription, especially during cellular aging. Furthermore, deletion of PA200 or Blm10 accelerated cellular aging. Notably, the PA200-deficient mice displayed a range of aging-related deteriorations, including immune malfunction, anxiety-like behavior and shorter lifespan.Conclusion: PA200 promotes the transcription-coupled degradation of the core histones, and plays an important role in maintaining the stability of histone marks during transcription and aging.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • H3K27 acetylation activated-COL6A1 promotes osteosarcoma lung metastasis
           by repressing STAT1 and activating pulmonary cancer-associated fibroblasts
           

    • Authors: Ying Zhang; Zhaoyong Liu, Xia Yang, Weiqing Lu, Yelong Chen, Youbin Lin, Jin Wang, Suxia Lin, Jing-Ping Yun
      Pages: 1473 - 1492
      Abstract: Background: Collagen type VI alpha 1 (COL6A1) has been found to be dysregulated in several human malignancies. However, the role of COL6A1 in osteosarcoma (OS) progression remains largely unclear. Here, we aimed to explore the clinical significance and biological involvement of COL6A1 in the OS cell migration and invasion.Material and Methods: We used immunohistochemistry, qRT-PCR and western blot to detect the expression of COL6A1 in 181 OS patient samples. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and PCR were carried out to verify the regulatory interaction of p300, c-Jun and COL6A1 promoter. The invasion and migration function of COL6A1 in OS was detected in vitro and in vivo. RNA sequence was performed to detect the downstream pathway of COL6A1, and then co-immunoprecipitation (co-IP), ubiquitination assays and rescue experiments were performed to determine the regulatory effect of COL6A1 and signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT1). Exosomes derived from OS cell lines were assessed for the ability to promote cancer progression by co-cultured assay and exosomes tracing.Results: COL6A1 was commonly upregulated in OS tissues, especially in lung metastasis tissues, which was associated with a poor prognosis. c-Jun bound p300 increased the enrichment of H3K27ac at the promoter region of the COL6A1 gene, which resulted in the upregulation of COL6A1 in OS. Overexpression of COL6A1 promoted OS cell migration and invasion via interacting with SOCS5 to suppress STAT1 expression and activation in an ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation manner. Most interestingly, we found that exosomal COL6A1 derived from OS cells convert normal fibroblasts to cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) by secreting pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-6 and IL-8. The activated CAFs could promote OS cell invasion and migration by mediating TGF-β/COL6A1 signaling pathway.Conclusion: Our data demonstrated that upregulation of COL6A1 activated by H3K27 acetylation promoted the cell migration and invasion by suppressing STAT1 pathway in OS cells. Moreover, COL6A1 can be packaged into OS cell-derived exosomes and activate CAFs to promote OS metastasis.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • The Current Landscape of Antibody-based Therapies in Solid Malignancies

    • Authors: Ashu Shah; Sanchita Rauth, Abhijit Aithal, Sukhwinder Kaur, Koelina Ganguly, Catherine Orzechowski, Grish C Varshney, Maneesh Jain, Surinder K Batra
      Pages: 1493 - 1512
      Abstract: Over the past three decades, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have revolutionized the landscape of cancer therapy. Still, this benefit remains restricted to a small proportion of patients due to moderate response rates and resistance emergence. The field has started to embrace better mAb-based formats with advancements in molecular and protein engineering technologies. The development of a therapeutic mAb with long-lasting clinical impact demands a prodigious understanding of target antigen, effective mechanism of action, gene engineering technologies, complex interplay between tumor and host immune system, and biomarkers for prediction of clinical response. This review discusses the various approaches used by mAbs for tumor targeting and mechanisms of therapeutic resistance that is not only caused by the heterogeneity of tumor antigen, but also the resistance imposed by tumor microenvironment (TME), including inefficient delivery to the tumor, alteration of effector functions in the TME, and Fc-gamma receptor expression diversity and polymorphism. Further, this article provides a perspective on potential strategies to overcome these barriers and how diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers are being used in predicting response to mAb-based therapies. Overall, understanding these interdependent parameters can improve the current mAb-based formulations and develop novel mAb-based therapeutics for achieving durable clinical outcomes in a large subset of patients.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Recent advances in supramolecular antidotes

    • Authors: Hang Yin; Xiangjun Zhang, Jianwen Wei, Siyu Lu, David Bardelang, Ruibing Wang
      Pages: 1513 - 1526
      Abstract: Poisons always have fascinated humankind. Initially considered as deleterious or hazardous substances, the modern era has witnessed the controlled utilization of dangerous poisons in medicine and cosmetics. Simultaneously, antidotes have become crucial as reversal agents to counteract the effects of a poison, and they are also used today to positively cancel the benefits of a poison after use. Currently, the majority of poisons are composed of small molecules. This review focuses on recent developments to reverse or prevent toxic effects of poisons by encapsulation in host molecules. Cyclodextrins, cucurbiturils, acyclic cucurbituril derivatives, calixarenes, and pillararenes, have been reported to largely impact the effects of toxic compounds, thus extending the current paradigm of small molecule antidotes by adding a new family of macrocyclic compounds to the current arsenal of antidotes. Along this line of research, endogenous "harmful" species are also sequestered by one or more of these supramolecular host molecules, expanding the potential of supramolecular antidotes to diverse therapeutic areas.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Immunomodulatory role of reactive oxygen species and nitrogen species
           during T cell-driven neutrophil-enriched acute and chronic cutaneous
           delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions

    • Authors: Roman Mehling; Johannes Schwenck, Christina Lemberg, Christoph Trautwein, Laimdota Zizmare, Daniela Kramer, Anne Müller, Birgit Fehrenbacher, Irene Gonzalez-Menendez, Leticia Quintanilla-Martinez, Katrin Schröder, Ralph P. Brandes, Martin Schaller, Wolfram Ruf, Martin Eichner, Kamran Ghoreschi, Martin Röcken, Bernd J. Pichler, Manfred Kneilling
      Pages: 470 - 490
      Abstract: Rationale: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) are important regulators of inflammation. The exact impact of ROS/RNS on cutaneous delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction (DTHR) is controversial. The aim of our study was to identify the dominant sources of ROS/RNS during acute and chronic trinitrochlorobenzene (TNCB)-induced cutaneous DTHR in mice with differently impaired ROS/RNS production.Methods: TNCB-sensitized wild-type, NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2)- deficient (gp91phox-/-), myeloperoxidase-deficient (MPO-/-), and inducible nitric oxide synthase-deficient (iNOS-/-) mice were challenged with TNCB on the right ear once to elicit acute DTHR and repetitively up to five times to induce chronic DTHR. We measured ear swelling responses and noninvasively assessed ROS/RNS production in vivo by employing the chemiluminescence optical imaging (OI) probe L-012. Additionally, we conducted extensive ex vivo analyses of inflamed ears focusing on ROS/RNS production and the biochemical and morphological consequences.Results: The in vivo L-012 OI of acute and chronic DTHR revealed completely abrogated ROS/RNS production in the ears of gp91phox-/- mice, up to 90 % decreased ROS/RNS production in the ears of MPO-/- mice and unaffected ROS/RNS production in the ears of iNOS-/- mice. The DHR flow cytometry analysis of leukocytes derived from the ears with acute DTHR confirmed our in vivo L-012 OI results. Nevertheless, we observed no significant differences in the ear swelling responses among all the experimental groups. The histopathological analysis of the ears of gp91phox-/- mice with acute DTHRs revealed slightly enhanced inflammation. In contrast, we observed a moderately reduced inflammatory immune response in the ears of gp91phox-/- mice with chronic DTHR, while the inflamed ears of MPO-/- mice exhibited the strongest inflammation. Analyses of lipid peroxidation, 8-hydroxy-2'deoxyguanosine levels, redox related metabolites and genomic expression of antioxidant proteins revealed similar oxidative stress in all experimental groups. Furthermore, inflamed ears of wild-type and gp91phox-/- mice displayed neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation exclusively in acute but not chronic DTHR.Conclusions: MPO and NOX2 are the dominant sources of ROS/RNS in acute and chronic DTHR. Nevertheless, depletion of one primary source of ROS/RNS exhibited only marginal but conflicting impact on acute and chronic cutaneous DTHR. Thus, ROS/RNS are not a single entity, and each species has different properties at certain stages of the disease, resulting in different outcomes.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Inter and intra-tumor somatostatin receptor 2 heterogeneity influences
           peptide receptor radionuclide therapy response

    • Authors: Danny Feijtel; Gabriela N. Doeswijk, Nicole S. Verkaik, Joost C. Haeck, Daniela Chicco, Carmelina Angotti, Mark W. Konijnenberg, Marion de Jong, Julie Nonnekens
      Pages: 491 - 505
      Abstract: Patients with neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) can be treated with peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT). Here, the somatostatin analogue octreotate radiolabeled with lutetium-177 is targeted to NET cells by binding to the somatostatin receptor subtype 2 (SST2). During radioactive decay, DNA damage is induced, leading to NET cell death. Although the therapy proves to be effective, mortality rates remain high. To appropriately select more optimal treatment strategies, it is essential to first better understand the radiobiological responses of tumor cells to PRRT.Methods: We analyzed PRRT induced radiobiological responses in SST2 expressing cells and xenografted mice using SPECT/MRI scanning and histological and molecular analyses. We measured [177Lu]Lu-DOTA-TATE uptake and performed analyses to visualize induction of DNA damage, cell death and other cellular characteristics.Results: The highest accumulation of radioactivity was measured in the tumor and kidneys. PRRT induced DNA damage signaling and repair in a time-dependent manner. We observed intra-tumor heterogeneity of DNA damage and apoptosis, which was not attributed to proliferation or bioavailability. We found a strong correlation between high DNA damage levels and high SST2 expression. PRRT elicited a different therapeutic response between models with different SST2 expression levels. Heterogeneous SST2 expression levels were also confirmed in patient NETs.Conclusion: Heterogeneous SST2 expression levels within NETs cause differentially induced DNA damage levels, influence recurrent tumor phenotypes and impact the therapeutic response in different models and potentially in patients. Our results contribute to a better understanding of PRRT effects, which might impact future therapeutic outcome of NET patients.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Highly sensitive magnetic particle imaging of vulnerable atherosclerotic
           plaque with active myeloperoxidase-targeted nanoparticles

    • Authors: Wei Tong; Hui Hui, Wenting Shang, Yingqian Zhang, Feng Tian, Qiang Ma, Xin Yang, Jie Tian, Yundai Chen
      Pages: 506 - 521
      Abstract: Inflammation is a pivotal driver of atherosclerotic plaque progression and rupture and is a target for identifying vulnerable plaques. However, challenges arise with the current in vivo imaging modalities for differentiating vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques from stable plaques due to their low specificity and sensitivity. Herein, we aimed to develop a novel multimodal imaging platform that specifically targets and identifies high-risk plaques in vivo by detecting active myeloperoxidase (MPO), a potential inflammatory marker of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque.Methods: A novel multimodal imaging agent, 5-HT-Fe3O4-Cy7 nanoparticles (5HFeC NPs), used for active MPO targeting, was designed by conjugating superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) with 5-hydroxytryptamine and cyanine 7 N-hydroxysuccinimide ester. The specificity and sensitivity of 5HFeC NPs were evaluated using magnetic particle imaging (MPI), fluorescence imaging (FLI), and computed tomographic angiography (CTA) in an ApoE-/- atherosclerosis mouse model. Treatment with 4-ABAH, an MPO inhibitor, was used to assess the monitoring ability of 5HFeC NPs.Results: 5HFeC NPs can sensitively differentiate and accurately localize vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques in ApoE-/- mice via MPI/FLI/CTA. High MPI and FLI signals were observed in atherosclerotic plaques within the abdominal aorta, which were histologically confirmed by multiple high-risk features of macrophage infiltration, neovascularization, and microcalcification. Inhibition of active MPO reduced accumulation of 5HFeC NPs in the abdominal aorta. Accumulation of 5HFeC NPs in plaques enabled quantitative evaluation of the severity of inflammation and monitoring of MPO activity.Conclusions: This multimodal MPI approach revealed that active MPO-targeted nanoparticles might serve as a method for detecting vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques and monitoring MPO activity.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Melanocortin 1 receptor attenuates early brain injury following
           subarachnoid hemorrhage by controlling mitochondrial metabolism via
           AMPK/SIRT1/PGC-1α pathway in rats

    • Authors: Weilin Xu; Jun Yan, Umut Ocak, Cameron Lenahan, Anwen Shao, Jiping Tang, Jianmin Zhang, John H. Zhang
      Pages: 522 - 539
      Abstract: Mitochondria-mediated oxidative stress and apoptosis contribute greatly to early brain injury (EBI) following subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). This study hypothesized that activation of melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), using BMS-470539, attenuates EBI by controlling mitochondrial metabolism after SAH.Methods: We utilized BMS-470539, MSG-606, selisistat, and PGC-1α to verify the neuroprotective effects of MC1R. We evaluated short- and long-term neurobehavior after SAH. Western blotting, immunofluorescence, and Golgi staining techniques were performed to assess changes in protein levels.Results: The results of western blotting suggested that the expression of SIRT1 and PGC-1α were increased, reaching their peaks at 24 h following SAH. Moreover, BMS-470539 treatment notably attenuated neurological deficits, and also reduced long-term spatial learning and memory impairments caused by SAH. The underlying neuroprotective mechanisms of the BMS-470539/MC1R system were mediated through the suppression of oxidative stress, apoptosis, and mitochondrial fission by increasing the levels of SIRT1, PGC-1α, UCP2, SOD, GPx, Bcl-2, cyto-Drp1, and ATP, while decreasing the levels of cleaved caspase-3, Bax, mito-Drp1, ROS, GSH/GSSG, and NADPH/NADP+ ratios. The neuroprotective effects of the BMS-470539/MC1R system were significantly abolished by MSG-606, selisistat, and PGC-1α siRNA.Conclusions: The activation of MC1R with BMS-470539 significantly attenuated EBI after SAH by suppressing the oxidative stress, apoptosis, and mitochondrial fission through the AMPK/SIRT1/PGC-1α signaling pathway.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Boiling histotripsy and in-situ CD40 stimulation improve the checkpoint
           blockade therapy of poorly immunogenic tumors

    • Authors: Mohit Pratap Singh; Sri Nandhini Sethuraman, Craig Miller, Jerry Malayer, Ashish Ranjan
      Pages: 540 - 554
      Abstract: Background: Advanced stage cancers with a suppressive tumor microenvironment (TME) are often refractory to immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy. Recent studies have shown that focused ultrasound (FUS) TME-modulation can synergize ICI therapy, but enhancing survival outcomes in poorly immunogenic tumors remains challenging. Here, we investigated the role of focused ultrasound based boiling histotripsy (HT) and in-situ anti-CD40 agonist antibody (αCD40) combinatorial therapy in enhancing therapeutic efficacy against ICI refractory murine melanoma.Methods: Unilateral and bilateral large (~330-400 mm3) poorly immunogenic B16F10 melanoma tumors were established in the flank regions of mice. Tumors were exposed to single local HT followed by an in-situ administration of αCD40 (HT+ αCD40: HT40). Inflammatory signatures post treatment were assessed using pan-cancer immune profiling and flow cytometry. The ability of HT40 ± ICI to enhance local and systemic effects was determined by immunological characterization of the harvested tissues, and by tumor growth delay of local and distant untreated tumors 4-6 weeks post treatment.Results: Immune profiling revealed that HT40 upregulated a variety of inflammatory markers in the tumors. Immunologically, HT40 treated tumors showed an increased population of granzyme B+ expressing functional CD8+ T cells (~4-fold) as well as an increased M1 to M2 macrophage ratio (~2-3-fold) and CD8+ T: regulatory T cell ratio (~5-fold) compared to the untreated control. Systemically, the proliferation rates of the melanoma-specific memory T cell population were significantly enhanced by HT40 treatment. Finally, the combination of HT40 and ICI therapy (anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-L1) caused superior inhibition of distant untreated tumors, and prolonged survival rates compared to the control.Conclusions: Data suggest that HT40 reprograms immunologically cold tumors and sensitizes them to ICI therapy. This approach may be clinically useful for treating advanced stage melanoma cancers.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Targeting of glioma stem-like cells with a parthenolide derivative ACT001
           through inhibition of AEBP1/PI3K/AKT signaling

    • Authors: Yanli Hou; Bowen Sun, Wenxue Liu, Bo Yu, Qiqi Shi, Fei Luo, Yongrui Bai, Haizhong Feng
      Pages: 555 - 566
      Abstract: Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most lethal primary brain tumor in adults with a median survival of around 15 months. A potential treatment strategy involves targeting glioma stem-like cells (GSCs) that are able to initiate, maintain, and repopulate the tumor mass. Here, we identify ACT001, a parthenolide derivative, targeting GSCs through regulation of adipocyte enhancer binding protein 1 (AEBP1) signaling.Methods: The effects of ACT001 on cell survival of normal human astrocytes (NHA) and patient-derived glioma stem-like cells (GSCs) were evaluated. RNA-Seq were performed to detect differentially expressed genes. ACT001 efficacy as a single agent or in combination with SHP-2 inhibitor SHP099 was assessed using a GSC orthotopic xenograft model.Results: GSCs exhibit high response to ACT001 in compared with normal human astrocytes. AEBP1 is a putative target of ACT001 by RNA-Seq analysis, which expression associates with prognosis of GBM patients. Knockdown of AEBP1 inhibits GSC proliferation and glioma sphere formation. Treatment with ACT001 or PI3K inhibitor or AEBP1 depletion would impair AKT phosphorylation and GSC proliferation, whereas constitutive AKT activation rescues ACT001 treatment or AEBP1 depletion-inhibited cell proliferation. Moreover, ACT001 blocks TGF-β-activated AEBP1/AKT signaling in GSCs. ACT001 exhibits antitumor activity either as a single agent or in combination with SHP099, which provides significant survival benefits for GSC tumor xenograft-bearing animals.Conclusions: Our data demonstrate AEBP1 as a new druggable target in GBM and ACT001 as a potential therapeutic option for improving the clinical treatment of GBM in combination with SHP099.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • CXCR4 PET imaging of mantle cell lymphoma using [68Ga]Pentixafor:
           comparison with [18F]FDG-PET

    • Authors: Marius E. Mayerhoefer; Markus Raderer, Wolfgang Lamm, Verena Pichler, Sarah Pfaff, Michael Weber, Barbara Kiesewetter, Markus Hacker, Lukas Kazianka, Philipp B. Staber, Hans-Juergen Wester, Johannes Rohrbeck, Ingrid Simonitsch-Klupp, Alexander Haug
      Pages: 567 - 578
      Abstract: For PET imaging of mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), [18F]FDG (2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose) is the currently recommended radiotracer, although uptake is variable and bone marrow evaluation is limited. In this prospective study, we evaluated the novel CXCR4 (G-protein-coupled C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4) tracer [68Ga]Pentixafor in MCL patients, and compared it to [18F]FDG.Methods: MCL patients underwent [68Ga]Pentixafor-PET/MRI, and, if required for routine purposes, also [18F]FDG-PET/MRI, before treatment. PET was evaluated separately for 23 anatomic regions (12 lymph node stations and 11 organs/tissues), using MRI as the main reference standard. Standardized uptake values (SUVmax and SUVmean) and tumor-to-background ratios (TBRblood and TBRliver) were calculated. General Estimation Equations (GEE) were used to compare [68Ga]Pentixafor-PET and [18F]FDG-PET sensitivities and positive predictive values (PPV). For bone marrow involvement, where biopsy served as the main reference standard, and splenic involvement, receiver operating characteristic curves were used to determine the optimal SUV and TBR cut-off values, and areas under the curve (AUC) were calculated.Results: Twenty-two MCL patients were included. [68Ga]Pentixafor-PET sensitivity (100%) was significantly higher than for [18F]FDG-PET (75.2%) (P
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • MRI-traceable theranostic nanoparticles for targeted cancer treatment

    • Authors: Tareq Anani; Shiva Rahmati, Nayer Sultana, Allan E. David
      Pages: 579 - 601
      Abstract: Current cancer therapies, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy, are imprecise, non-specific, and are often administered at high dosages - resulting in side effects that severely impact the patient's overall well-being. A variety of multifunctional, cancer-targeted nanotheranostic systems that integrate therapy, imaging, and tumor targeting functionalities in a single platform have been developed to overcome the shortcomings of traditional drugs. Among the imaging modalities used, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides high resolution imaging of structures deep within the body and, in combination with other imaging modalities, provides complementary diagnostic information for more accurate identification of tumor characteristics and precise guidance of anti-cancer therapy. This review article presents a comprehensive assessment of nanotheranostic systems that combine MRI-based imaging (T1 MRI, T2 MRI, and multimodal imaging) with therapy (chemo-, thermal-, gene- and combination therapy), connecting a range of topics including hybrid treatment options (e.g. combined chemo-gene therapy), unique MRI-based imaging (e.g. combined T1-T2 imaging, triple and quadruple multimodal imaging), novel targeting strategies (e.g. dual magnetic-active targeting and nanoparticles carrying multiple ligands), and tumor microenvironment-responsive drug release (e.g. redox and pH-responsive nanomaterials). With a special focus on systems that have been tested in vivo, this review is an essential summary of the most advanced developments in this rapidly evolving field.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Cytosolic Ca2+ transients during pulsed focused ultrasound generate
           reactive oxygen species and cause DNA damage in tumor cells

    • Authors: Robert B. Rosenblatt; Joseph A. Frank, Scott R. Burks
      Pages: 602 - 613
      Abstract: Mechanical forces from non-ablative pulsed focused ultrasound (pFUS) generate pro-inflammatory tumor microenvironments (TME), marked by increased cytokines, chemokines, and trophic factors, as well as immune cell infiltration and reduced tumor growth. pFUS also causes DNA damage within tumors, which is a potent activator of immunity and could contribute to changes in the TME. This study investigated mechanisms behind the mechanotransductive effects of pFUS causing DNA damage in several tumor cell types.Methods: 4T1 (murine breast tumor), B16 (murine melanoma), C6 (rat glioma), or MDA-MB-231 (human breast tumor) cells were sonicated in vitro (1.1MHz; 6MPa PNP; 10ms pulses; 10% duty cycle; 300 pulses). DNA damage was detected by TUNEL, apoptosis was measured by immunocytochemistry for cleaved caspase-3. Calcium, superoxide, and H2O2 were detected by fluorescent indicators and modulated by BAPTA-AM, mtTEMPOL, or Trolox, respectively.Results: pFUS increased TUNEL reactivity (range = 1.6-2.7-fold) in all cell types except C6 and did not induce apoptosis in any cell line. All lines displayed cytosolic Ca2+ transients during sonication. pFUS increased superoxide (range = 1.6-2.0-fold) and H2O2 (range = 2.3-2.8-fold) in all cell types except C6. BAPTA-AM blocked increased TUNEL reactivity, superoxide and H2O2 formation, while Trolox also blocked increased TUNEL reactivity increased after pFUS. mtTEMPOL allowed H2O2 formation and did not block increased TUNEL reactivity after pFUS. Unsonicated C6 cells had higher baseline concentrations of cytosolic Ca2+, superoxide, and H2O2, which were not associated with greater baseline TUNEL reactivity than the other cell lines.Conclusions: Mechanotransduction of pFUS directly induces DNA damage in tumor cells by cytosolic Ca2+ transients causing formation of superoxide and subsequently, H2O2. These results further suggest potential clinical utility for pFUS. However, the lack of pFUS-induced DNA damage in C6 cells demonstrates a range of potential tumor responses that may arise from physiological differences such as Ca2+ or redox homeostasis.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Strategies in the delivery of Cas9 ribonucleoprotein for CRISPR/Cas9
           genome editing

    • Authors: Song Zhang; Jiangtao Shen, Dali Li, Yiyun Cheng
      Pages: 614 - 648
      Abstract: CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing has gained rapidly increasing attentions in recent years, however, the translation of this biotechnology into therapy has been hindered by efficient delivery of CRISPR/Cas9 materials into target cells. Direct delivery of CRISPR/Cas9 system as a ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex consisting of Cas9 protein and single guide RNA (sgRNA) has emerged as a powerful and widespread method for genome editing due to its advantages of transient genome editing and reduced off-target effects. In this review, we summarized the current Cas9 RNP delivery systems including physical approaches and synthetic carriers. The mechanisms and beneficial roles of these strategies in intracellular Cas9 RNP delivery were reviewed. Examples in the development of stimuli-responsive and targeted carriers for RNP delivery are highlighted. Finally, the challenges of current Cas9 RNP delivery systems and perspectives in rational design of next generation materials for this promising field will be discussed.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Rapid design and development of CRISPR-Cas13a targeting SARS-CoV-2 spike
           protein

    • Authors: Lin Wang; Junhu Zhou, Qixue Wang, Yunfei Wang, Chunsheng Kang
      Pages: 649 - 664
      Abstract: The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused a worldwide epidemic of the lethal respiratory coronavirus disease (COVID-19), necessitating urgent development of specific and effective therapeutic tools. Among several therapeutic targets of coronaviruses, the spike protein is of great significance due to its key role in host invasion. Here, we report a potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 strategy based on the CRISPR-Cas13a system.Methods: A comprehensive set of bioinformatics methods, including sequence alignment, structural comparison, and molecular docking, was utilized to identify a SARS-CoV-2-spike(S)-specific segment. A tiling crRNA library targeting this specific RNA segment was designed, and optimal crRNA candidates were selected using in-silico methods. The efficiencies of the crRNA candidates were tested in human HepG2 and AT2 cells.Results: The most effective crRNA sequence inducing a robust cleavage effect on S and a potent collateral cleavage effect were identified.Conclusions: This study provides a rapid design pipeline for a CRISPR-Cas13a-based antiviral tool against SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, it offers a novel approach for anti-virus study even if the precise structures of viral proteins are indeterminate.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Glioma stem cells and their roles within the hypoxic tumor
           microenvironment

    • Authors: Nathaniel H. Boyd; Anh Nhat Tran, Joshua D. Bernstock, Tina Etminan, Amber B. Jones, G. Yancey Gillespie, Gregory K. Friedman, Anita B. Hjelmeland
      Pages: 665 - 683
      Abstract: Tumor microenvironments are the result of cellular alterations in cancer that support unrestricted growth and proliferation and result in further modifications in cell behavior, which are critical for tumor progression. Angiogenesis and therapeutic resistance are known to be modulated by hypoxia and other tumor microenvironments, such as acidic stress, both of which are core features of the glioblastoma microenvironment. Hypoxia has also been shown to promote a stem-like state in both non-neoplastic and tumor cells. In glial tumors, glioma stem cells (GSCs) are central in tumor growth, angiogenesis, and therapeutic resistance, and further investigation of the interplay between tumor microenvironments and GSCs is critical to the search for better treatment options for glioblastoma. Accordingly, we summarize the impact of hypoxia and acidic stress on GSC signaling and biologic phenotypes, and potential methods to inhibit these pathways.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Expansion of murine and human olfactory epithelium/mucosa colonies and
           generation of mature olfactory sensory neurons under chemically defined
           conditions

    • Authors: Wenwen Ren; Li Wang, Xiujuan Zhang, Xiaoyu Feng, Liujing Zhuang, Nan Jiang, Rui Xu, Xuewen Li, Ping Wang, Xicai Sun, Hongmeng Yu, Yiqun Yu
      Pages: 684 - 699
      Abstract: Olfactory dysfunctions, including hyposmia and anosmia, affect ~100 million people around the world and the underlying causes are not fully understood. Degeneration of olfactory sensory neurons and incapacity of globose basal cells to generate olfactory sensory neurons are found in elder people and patients with smell disorders. Thus, olfactory stem cell may function as a promising tool to replace inactivated globose basal cells and to generate sensory neurons.Methods: We established clonal expansion of cells from the murine olfactory epithelium as well as colony growth from human olfactory mucosa using Matrigel-based three-dimensional system. These colonies were characterized by immunostaining against olfactory epithelium cellular markers and by calcium imaging of responses to odors. Chemical addition was optimized to promote Lgr5 expression, colony growth and sensory neuron generation, tested by quantitative PCR and immunostaining against progenitor and neuronal markers. The differential transcriptomes in multiple signaling pathways between colonies under different base media and chemical cocktails were determined by RNA-Seq.Results: In defined culture media, we found that VPA and CHIR99021 induced the highest Lgr5 expression level, while LY411575 resulted in the most abundant yield of OMP+ mature sensory neurons in murine colonies. Different base culture media with drug cocktails led to apparent morphological alteration from filled to cystic appearance, accompanied with massive transcriptional changes in multiple signaling pathways. Generation of sensory neurons in human colonies was affected through TGF-β signaling, while Lgr5 expression and cell proliferation was regulated by VPA.Conclusion: Our findings suggest that targeting expansion of olfactory epithelium/mucosa colonies in vitro potentially results in discovery of new source to cell replacement-based therapy against smell loss.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • PLAGL2 promotes the proliferation and migration of gastric cancer cells
           via USP37-mediated deubiquitination of Snail1

    • Authors: Liang Wu; Ning Zhao, Zili Zhou, Jinhuang Chen, Shengbo Han, Xudan Zhang, Haijun Bao, Wenzheng Yuan, Xiaogang Shu
      Pages: 700 - 714
      Abstract: Rationale: PLAGL2 (pleomorphic adenoma gene like-2), a zinc finger PLAG transcription factor, is aberrantly expressed in several malignant tumors. However, the biological roles of PLAGL2 and its underlying mechanism in gastric cancer (GC) remain unclear.Methods: A series of experiments in vitro and in vivo were conducted to reveal the role of PLAGL2 in GC progression.Results: The data revealed that PLAGL2 promotes GC cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and EMT in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, we demonstrated the critical role of PLAGL2 in the stabilization of snail family transcriptional repressor 1 (Snail1) and promoting Snail1-mediated proliferation and migration of GC cells. PLAGL2 activated the transcription of deubiquitinase USP37, which then interacted with and deubiquitinated Snail1 protein directly. In addition, GSK-3β-dependent phosphorylation of Snail1 protein is essential for USP37-mediated Snail1 deubiquitination regulation.Conclusions: In general, PLAGL2 promotes the proliferation and migration of GC cells through USP37-mediated deubiquitination of Snail1 protein. This work provided potential therapeutic targets for GC treatment.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor precursor in the immune system is a
           novel target for treating multiple sclerosis

    • Authors: Zhao-Lan Hu; Cong Luo, Plinio Reinaldo Hurtado, Hui Li, Shuang Wang, Bo Hu, Jun-Mei Xu, Yang Liu, Shi-Qing Feng, Ernesto Hurtado-Perez, Kang Chen, Xin-Fu Zhou, Chang-Qi Li, Ru-Ping Dai
      Pages: 715 - 730
      Abstract: Rationale: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor precursor (proBDNF) is expressed in the central nervous system (CNS) and the immune system. However, the role of proBDNF in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS) is unknown.Methods: Peripheral blood and post-mortem brain and spinal cord specimens were obtained from multiple sclerosis patients to analyze proBDNF expression in peripheral lymphocytes and infiltrating immune cells in the lesion site. The proBDNF expression profile was also examined in the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mouse model, and polyclonal and monoclonal anti-proBDNF antibodies were used to explore their therapeutic effect in EAE. Finally, the role of proBDNF in the inflammatory immune activity of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) was verified in vitro experiments.Results: High proBDNF expression was detected in the circulating lymphocytes and infiltrated inflammatory cells at the lesion sites of the brain and spinal cord in MS patients. In the EAE mouse model, proBDNF was upregulated in CNS and in circulating and splenic lymphocytes. Systemic but not intracranial administration of anti-proBDNF blocking antibodies attenuated clinical scores, limited demyelination, and inhibited proinflammatory cytokines in EAE mice. Immuno-stimulants treatment increased the proBDNF release and upregulated the expression of p75 neurotrophic receptors (p75NTR) in lymphocytes. The monoclonal antibody against proBDNF inhibited the inflammatory response of PBMCs upon stimulations.Conclusion: The findings suggest that proBDNF from immune cells promotes the immunopathogenesis of MS. Monoclonal Ab-proB may be a promising therapeutic agent for treating MS.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • COVID-19 and Cancer Comorbidity: Therapeutic Opportunities and Challenges

    • Authors: Anup S. Pathania; Philip Prathipati, Bakrudeen AA. Abdul, Srinivas Chava, Santharam S. Katta, Subash C. Gupta, Pandu R. Gangula, Manoj K. Pandey, Donald L. Durden, Siddappa N. Byrareddy, Kishore B. Challagundla
      Pages: 731 - 753
      Abstract: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a viral disease caused by a novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that affects the respiratory system of infected individuals. COVID-19 spreads between humans through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The COVID-19 outbreak originated in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019. As of 29 Sept 2020, over 235 countries, areas or territories across the globe reported a total of 33,441,919 confirmed cases, and 1,003,497 confirmed deaths due to COVID-19. Individuals of all ages are at risk for infection, but in most cases disease severity is associated with age and pre-existing diseases that compromise immunity, like cancer. Numerous reports suggest that people with cancer can be at higher risk of severe illness and related deaths from COVID-19. Therefore, managing cancer care under this pandemic is challenging and requires a collaborative multidisciplinary approach for optimal care of cancer patients in hospital settings. In this comprehensive review, we discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer patients, their care, and treatment. Further, this review covers the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, genome characterization, COVID-19 pathophysiology, and associated signaling pathways in cancer, and the choice of anticancer agents as repurposed drugs for treating COVID-19.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Metabolomic profiling reveals amino acid and carnitine alterations as
           metabolic signatures in psoriasis

    • Authors: Chao Chen; Guixue Hou, Chunwei Zeng, Yan Ren, Xiang Chen, Cong Peng
      Pages: 754 - 767
      Abstract: High-throughput metabolite profiling provides the opportunity to reveal metabolic mechanisms and identify biomarkers. Psoriasis is an immune-mediated chronic inflammatory disease. However, the role of metabolism in psoriasis pathogenesis remains unclear.Methods: Plasma samples of individuals (45 psoriasis and 45 sex‐, age-, and BMI-matched healthy controls) were collected. Non-targeted metabolomics and amino acid- or carnitine-targeted metabolomics were conducted, then, plasma samples of mice induced by imiquimod (IMQ) were subjected to the amino acid- and carnitine-targeted metabolomic profiling. Flow cytometry was used to study the effect of L-carnitine (LC(C0)) on IMQ-induced psoriatic inflammation.Results: Through the non-targeted metabolomics approach, we detected significantly altered amino acids and carnitines in psoriasis patients. Amino acid-targeted metabolomic profiling identified 37 amino acids altered in psoriasis, of these 23 were markedly upregulated, including essential amino acids (EAAs), and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), whereas glutamine, cysteine, and asparagine were significantly down-regulated. Carnitine-targeted metabolomic profiling identified 40 significantly altered carnitines, 14 of which included palmitoylcarnitine (C16) and were markedly downregulated in psoriasis, whereas hexanoylcarnitine (C6) and 3-OH-octadecenoylcarnitine (C18:1-OH) were significantly upregulated. Interestingly, glutamine, asparagine, and C16 levels were negatively correlated with the PASI score. Moreover, a higher abundance of LC(C0) was associated with markedly reduced IMQ-induced epidermal thickening and infiltration of Th17 cells in skin lesions, indicating LC(C0) supplementation as a potential therapy for psoriasis treatment.Conclusion: Our results suggested the metabolism of amino acids and carnitines are significantly altered in psoriasis, especially the metabolism of EAAs, BCAAs, and LC(C0), which may play key roles in the pathogenesis of psoriasis.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Implantation of regenerative complexes in traumatic brain injury canine
           models enhances the reconstruction of neural networks and motor function
           recovery

    • Authors: Jipeng Jiang; Chen Dai, Xiaoyin Liu, Lujia Dai, Ruixin Li, Ke Ma, Huiyou Xu, Fei Zhao, Zhiwen Zhang, Tao He, Xuegang Niu, Xuyi Chen, Sai Zhang
      Pages: 768 - 788
      Abstract: Rationale: The combination of medical and tissue engineering in neural regeneration studies is a promising field. Collagen, silk fibroin and seed cells are suitable options and have been widely used in the repair of spinal cord injury. In this study, we aimed to determine whether the implantation of a complex fabricated with collagen/silk fibroin (SF) and the human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUCMSCs) can promote cerebral cortex repair and motor functional recovery in a canine model of traumatic brain injury (TBI).Methods: A porous scaffold was fabricated with cross-linked collagen and SF. Its physical properties and degeneration rate were measured. The scaffolds were co-cultured with hUCMSCs after which an implantable complex was formed. After complex implantation to a canine model of TBI, the motor evoked potential (MEP) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were used to evaluate the integrity of the cerebral cortex. The neurologic score, motion capture, surface electromyography (sEMG), and vertical ground reaction force (vGRF) were measured in the analysis of motor functions. In vitro analysis of inflammation levels was performed by Elisa while immunohistochemistry was used in track the fate of hUCMSCs. In situ hybridization, transmission electron microscope, and immunofluorescence were used to assess neural and vascular regeneration.Results: Favorable physical properties, suitable degradation rate, and biocompatibility were observed in the collagen/SF scaffolds. The group with complex implantation exhibited the best cerebral cortex integrity and motor functions. The implantation also led to the regeneration of more blood vessels and nerve fibers, less glial fibers, and inflammatory factors.Conclusion: Implantation of this complex enhanced therapy in traumatic brain injury (TBI) through structural repair and functional recovery. These effects exhibit the translational prospects for the clinical application of this complex.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Enhanced neprilysin-mediated degradation of hippocampal Aβ42 with a
           somatostatin peptide that enters the brain

    • Authors: Fadi Rofo; Canan Ugur Yilmaz, Nicole Metzendorf, Tobias Gustavsson, Chiara Beretta, Anna Erlandsson, Dag Sehlin, Stina Syvänen, Per Nilsson, Greta Hultqvist
      Pages: 789 - 804
      Abstract: Background: Aggregation of the amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptide is one of the main neuropathological events in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Neprilysin is the major enzyme degrading Aβ, with its activity enhanced by the neuropeptide somatostatin (SST). SST levels are decreased in the brains of AD patients. The poor delivery of SST over the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and its extremely short half-life of only 3 min limit its therapeutic significance.Methods: We recombinantly fused SST to a BBB transporter binding to the transferrin receptor. Using primary neuronal cultures and neuroblastoma cell lines, the ability of the formed fusion protein to activate neprilysin was studied. SST-scFv8D3 was administered to mice overexpressing the Aβ-precursor protein (AβPP) with the Swedish mutation (APPswe) as a single injection or as a course of three injections over a 72 h period. Levels of neprilysin and Aβ were quantified using an Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Distribution of SST-scFv8D3 in the brain, blood and peripheral organs was studied by radiolabeling with iodine-125.Results: The construct, SST-scFv8D3, exhibited 120 times longer half-life than SST alone, reached the brain in high amounts when injected intravenously and significantly increased the brain concentration of neprilysin in APPswe mice. A significant decrease in the levels of membrane-bound Aβ42 was detected in the hippocampus and the adjacent cortical area after only three injections.Conclusion: With intravenous injections of our BBB permeable SST peptide, we were able to significantly increase the levels neprilysin, an effect that was followed by a significant and selective degradation of membrane-bound Aβ42 in the hippocampus. Being that membrane-bound Aβ triggers neuronal toxicity and the hippocampus is the central brain area in the progression of AD, the study has illuminated a new potential treatment paradigm with a promising safety profile targeting only the disease affected areas.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Hexosamine biosynthetic pathway promotes the antiviral activity of SAMHD1
           by enhancing O-GlcNAc transferase-mediated protein O-GlcNAcylation

    • Authors: Jie Hu; Qingzhu Gao, Yang Yang, Jie Xia, Wanjun Zhang, Yao Chen, Zhi Zhou, Lei Chang, Yuan Hu, Hui Zhou, Li Liang, Xiaosong Li, Quanxin Long, Kai Wang, Ailong Huang, Ni Tang
      Pages: 805 - 823
      Abstract: Rationale: Viruses hijack the host cell machinery to promote viral replication; however, the mechanism by which metabolic reprogramming regulates innate antiviral immunity in the host remains elusive. Herein, we explore how the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway (HBP) and O-linked-N-acetylglucosaminylation (O-GlcNAcylation) regulate host antiviral response against hepatitis B virus (HBV) in vitro and in vivo.Methods: We conducted a metabolomics assay to evaluate metabolic responses of host cells to HBV infection. We systematically explored the role of HBP and protein O-GlcNAcylation in regulating HBV infection in cell and mouse models. O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) target proteins were identified via liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and co-immunoprecipitation assays. Additionally, we also examined uridine diphosphate (UDP)-GlcNAc biosynthesis and O-GlcNAcylation levels in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB).Results: HBV infection upregulated GLUT1 expression on the hepatocyte surface and facilitated glucose uptake, which provides substrates to HBP to synthesize UDP-GlcNAc, leading to an increase in protein O-GlcNAcylation. Pharmacological or transcriptional inhibition of HBP and O-GlcNAcylation promoted HBV replication. Mechanistically, O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT)-mediated O-GlcNAcylation of sterile alpha motif and histidine/aspartic acid domain-containing protein 1 (SAMHD1) on Ser93 stabilizes SAMHD1 and enhances its antiviral activity. Analysis of clinical samples revealed that UDP-GlcNAc level was increased, and SAMHD1 was O-GlcNAcylated in patients with CHB.Conclusions: HBP-mediated O-GlcNAcylation positively regulates host antiviral response against HBV in vitro and in vivo. The findings reveal a link between HBP, O-GlcNAc modification, and innate antiviral immunity by targeting SAMHD1.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • A novel STAT3 inhibitor W2014-S regresses human non-small cell lung cancer
           xenografts and sensitizes EGFR-TKI acquired resistance

    • Authors: Qiyao Zheng; Hui Dong, Jianshan Mo, Yi Zhang, Jie Huang, Shumin Ouyang, Shuo Shi, Kai Zhu, Xinming Qu, Wenhao Hu, Peiqing Liu, Yuanxiang Wang, Xiaolei Zhang
      Pages: 824 - 840
      Abstract: Constitutive activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is a common feature in human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). STAT3 plays an important role in cancer progression as a driver oncogene and acquired resistance of targeted therapies as an alternatively activated pathway. W2014-S with pharmacophore structure of imidazopyridine, which was firstly reported to be utilized in STAT3 inhibitor discovery, was screened out as a potent STAT3 inhibitor from a library of small molecules. The aim of this study is to investigate the antitumor activities and mechanisms of W2014-S in NSCLC and effect on epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) resistance in vitro and in vivo.Methods: SPR analysis, Co-immunoprecipitation, confocal microscope imaging, and luciferase report gene assays were utilized to determine the mechanisms. Cell viability, colonial survival, wound healing, cell invasion assay, human cancer cell xenografts and PDX tumor xenografts were used to determine antitumor activities.Results: W2014-S disrupted STAT3 dimerization and selectively inhibited aberrant STAT3 signaling in NSCLC cell line. W2014-S strongly suppressed proliferation, survival, migration and invasion of lung cancer cells with aberrant STAT3 activation and inhibited the growth of human NSCLC cell xenografts and PDX tumor xenografts in mouse model. Furthermore, W2014-S significantly sensitized resistant NSCLC cell line to gefitinib and erlotinib in vitro and enhances the anti-tumor effect of gefitinib in TKI-resistant lung cancer xenografts in vivo.Conclusions: Our study has provided a novel STAT3 inhibitor with significant anti-tumor activities in NSCLC and suggests that combination of STAT3 inhibitor such as W2014-S with gefitinib could serve as a promising strategy to overcome EGFR-TKIs acquired resistance in NSCLC patients.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • ACSS3 represses prostate cancer progression through downregulating lipid
           droplet-associated protein PLIN3

    • Authors: Lijie Zhou; Zhengshuai Song, Junyi Hu, Lilong Liu, Yaxin Hou, Xiaoping Zhang, Xiong Yang, Ke Chen
      Pages: 841 - 860
      Abstract: Current endocrine therapy for prostate cancer (PCa) mainly inhibits androgen/androgen receptor (AR) signaling. However, due to increased intratumoural androgen synthesis and AR variation, PCa progresses to castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), which ultimately becomes resistant to endocrine therapy. A search for new therapeutic perspectives is urgently needed.Methods: By screening lipid metabolism-related gene sets and bioinformatics analysis in prostate cancer database, we identified the key lipid metabolism-related genes in PCa. Bisulfite genomic Sequence Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) (BSP) and Methylation-Specific Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) (MSP) were preformed to detect the promoter methylation of ACSS3. Gene expression was analyzed by qRT-PCR, Western blotting, IHC and co-IP. The function of ACSS3 in PCa was measured by CCK-8, Transwell assays. LC/MS, Oil Red O assays and TG and cholesterol measurement assays were to detect the levels of TG and cholesterol in cells. Resistance to Enzalutamide in C4-2 ENZR cells was examined in a xenograft tumorigenesis model in vivo.Results: We found that acyl-CoA synthetase short chain family member 3 (ACSS3) was downregulated and predicted a poor prognosis in PCa. Loss of ACSS3 expression was due to gene promoter methylation. Restoration of ACSS3 expression in PCa cells significantly reduced LD deposits, thus promoting apoptosis by increasing endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, and decreasing de novo intratumoral androgen synthesis, inhibiting CRPC progression and reversing Enzalutamide resistance. Mechanistic investigations demonstrated that ACSS3 reduced LD deposits by regulating the stability of the LD coat protein perilipin 3 (PLIN3).Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that ACSS3 represses prostate cancer progression through downregulating lipid droplet-associated protein PLIN3.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Covalent modification of Keap1 at Cys77 and Cys434 by pubescenoside a
           suppresses oxidative stress-induced NLRP3 inflammasome activation in
           myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury

    • Authors: Yuanyuan Cheng; Liangkai Cheng, Xiang Gao, Sixuan Chen, Peng Wu, Caiyan Wang, Zhongqiu Liu
      Pages: 861 - 877
      Abstract: Background and Purpose: Kelch ECH-associating protein 1 (Keap1) is a crucial chaperonin for E3 ubiquitin ligases. Modification of the key reactive cysteine residues in Keap1 affects the interaction between Keap1 and its substrate nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), subsequently regulating oxidative stress and NLPR3 inflammasome activation, which are important factors for myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury (MI/RI). Pubescenoside A (PBA), an active compound from Ilex pubescens, has antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory effects. However, the effect of PBA on MI/RI is still unknown. In the present study, we aimed to determine whether PBA can protect the heart against MI/RI and clarify the direct target and the underlying mechanism of PBA.Methods: The left anterior descending artery (LAD) ligation-induced MI/RI mice model or oxygen and glucose deprivation/reperfusion (OGD/R) were used to evaluate the cardioprotective effect of PBA. Pull-down assays, co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP) assays, LC/MS/MS, isothermal calorimetry (ITC) experiments and covalent docking were used to identify the target of PBA.Results: PBA protected cardiomyocytes against OGD/R in vitro and LAD-induced MI/RI in vivo. PBA suppressed NLRP3 inflammation activation and induced the Nrf2 signaling pathway. Interestingly, PBA targeted Keap1 by selectively covalently binding to conserved cysteine residues, cysteine 77 (Cys77) in the BTB domain and cysteine 434 (Cys434) in the Kelch domain of Keap1, subsequently inhibiting ubiquitination of Nrf2 and activating antioxidant enzymes. Additionally, the cysteines of Keap1 has different degree of activation by PBA as follows: Cys77 > Cys434 > Cys23 > Cys38 > Cys226 > Cys273, which further elucidates the cysteine sensitivity of Keap1.Conclusions: Our results indicated that PBA might be a new Nrf2 activator that covalently binds to two critical domains of Keap1, and shows cardioprotective activities against ischemia-reperfusion injury.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Discovery of extracellular vesicles derived miR-181a-5p in patient's serum
           as an indicator for bone-metastatic prostate cancer

    • Authors: Yanqing Wang; Yu-Xiang Fang, Baijun Dong, Xinxing Du, Jialin Wang, Xiao Wang, Wei-Qiang Gao, Wei Xue
      Pages: 878 - 892
      Abstract: Purpose: To identify extracellular vesicle (EV)-delivered microRNAs in the patient's serum as indicators for bone-metastatic prostate cancer.Methods: First, the profiling change of serum EV-delivered miRNAs in patients with either benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), non-bone metastatic prostate cancer or bone-metastatic prostate cancer was detected by microRNA deep sequencing assay and microRNA-chip array assay, respectively. Second, the candidates were further confirmed using TaqMan microRNA assay in two independent validation cohorts of total 176 patients with either BPH, non-bone metastatic prostate cancer or bone metastatic prostate cancer to seek the most valuable microRNA(s).Results: Through microRNA deep sequencing and microRNA-chip array, we found 4 prospective EV-delivered miRNAs including miR-181a-5p with significantly upregulated expression in bone metastatic groups than in non-bone metastatic prostate cancer groups (p < 0.05). In the validation cohorts, logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate the diagnostic association of candidates with bone metastasis, which indicated that miR-181a-5p was significantly associated with bone metastatic prostate cancer. Furthermore, accuracy estimate of each candidate for the diagnosis of bone metastatic prostate cancer was quantified using the area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (AUC), which identified miR-181a-5p as the best biomarker with the AUCs of 85.6% for diagnosis of prostate cancer and 73.8% for diagnosis of bone metastatic prostate cancer.Conclusion: EV-delivered miR-181a-5p from patient's serum is a promising diagnostic biomarker for bone metastatic prostate cancer.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cell therapy ameliorates
           lupus through increasing CD4+ T cell senescence via MiR-199a-5p/Sirt1/p53
           axis

    • Authors: Tao Cheng; Shuai Ding, Shanshan Liu, Yan Li, Lingyun Sun
      Pages: 893 - 905
      Abstract: Rationale: Although human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSCs) transplantation has been proved to be an effective therapeutic approach to treat systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the detailed underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Transferring miRNAs is one mean by which MSCs communicate with surrounding cells. Sirt1 is a NAD-dependent deacetylase that protects against cell senescence by deacetylating p53. Here we aimed to explore whether hUC-MSCs affected senescence of splenic CD4+ T cells through regulating Sirt1/p53 via miRNA in the MRL/lpr lupus mouse model.Methods: The effects of hUC-MSCs on lupus syndrome and senescence pathways in MRL/lpr mice in vivo and in vitro were determined. The functional roles of miR-199a-5p in splenic CD4+ T cell senescence were studied by miRNA mimic or inhibitor in vitro. MRL/lpr mice were injected with miR-199a-5p agomir to evaluate the effects of miR-199a-5p on splenic CD4+ T cell senescence and disease in vivo.Results: We showed that hUC-MSCs transplantation ameliorated lupus symptoms and increased senescence of splenic CD4+ T cells through Sirt1/p53 signaling via miR-199a-5p in MRL/lpr mice. Moreover, systemic delivery of miR-199a-5p in MRL/lpr mice increased splenic CD4+ T-cell senescence, mimicking the therapeutic effects of transplanted hUC-MSCs.Conclusions: We have identified miR-199a-5p as one of the mechanisms employed by hUC-MSCs to alleviate lupus disease associated pathologies in MRL/lpr mice, which is attributable for promoting splenic CD4+ T cell senescence through Sirt1/p53 pathway.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Collagenase IV and clusterin-modified polycaprolactone-polyethylene glycol
           nanoparticles for penetrating dense tumor tissues

    • Authors: Hao-Yan Huang; Li-Qing Chen, Wei Sun, Huan-Huan Du, Shunli Dong, Atef Mohammed Qasem Ahmed, Dingyun Cao, Jing-Hao Cui, Yi Zhang, Qing-Ri Cao
      Pages: 906 - 924
      Abstract: Purpose: Novel collagenase IV (ColIV) and clusterin (CLU)-modified polycaprolactone-polyethylene glycol (PCL-PEG) nanoparticles that load doxorubicin (DOX) were designed and fully evaluated in vitro and in vivo.Methods: PCL-PEG-ColIV was synthesized by linking PCL-PEG and ColIV through a carbodiimide method. DOX-loaded nanoparticles (DOX-PCL-PEG-ColIV) were self-assembly prepared, followed by noncovalently adsorbing CLU on the DOX-PCL-PEG-ColIV surface to obtain DOX-PCL-PEG-ColIV /CLU nanoparticles, which can penetrate through the tumor extracellular matrix (ECM) and inhibit phagocytosis by macrophage. The physicochemical properties of nanoparticles were characterized. The cellular uptake and antiphagocytosis ability of nanoparticles in MCF-7 tumor cells and RAW264.7 cells were investigated. The penetration ability of nanoparticles was individually evaluated in the two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) ECM models. The tissue distribution and antitumor effect of nanoparticles were evaluated in MCF-7 cell-bearing nude mice.Results: Compared with DOX-PCL-PEG-COOH nanoparticles, DOX-PCL-PEG-ColIV/CLU nanoparticles could effectively overcome the phagocytosis by RAW264.7 and showed excellent cellular uptake in MCF-7 cells. In addition, they showed remarkable penetration ability through the 2D and 3D ECM models. DOX-PCL-PEG-ColIV/CLU nanoparticles significantly reduced the drug distribution in the liver and spleen and enhanced the drug accumulation in tumor tissue compared with DOX-PCL-PEG-COOH or DOX-PCL-PEG-ColIV nanoparticles. DOX-PCL-PEG-ColIV/CLU nanoparticles showed remarkable antitumor effect but did not cause severe pathological damages in the main tissues, including the heart, liver, spleen, lung, and kidney.Conclusion: Novel ColIV and CLU-modified PCL-PEG nanoparticles showed excellent cellular uptake, ECM penetration, antiphagocytosis, and antitumor effects both in vitro and in vivo.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • LncRNA BCYRN1-induced autophagy enhances asparaginase resistance in
           extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma

    • Authors: Liang Wang; Jing Yang, He-nan Wang, Rui-ying Fu, Xin-di Liu, Ying-shi Piao, Li-qiang Wei, Jing-wen Wang, Luo Zhang
      Pages: 925 - 940
      Abstract: Background: Asparaginase (ASP) is the cornerstone drug in the treatment of extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma (ENKTCL), and the mechanisms of resistance to ASP remain largely unknown. Long non-coding RNAs play important roles in chemotherapy resistance in various cancers. However, the expression of BCYRN1 and its role in ENKTCL still remain unidentified.Methods: Lentivirus-mediated BCYRN1 overexpression and knockdown were performed in SNK-6 cells. Cell autophagy was analyzed by adenovirus expressing GFP-LC3B fusion protein. RNA pull-down and RNA Binding Protein Immunoprecipitation Assay were performed to investigate the relationship between BCYRN1 and p53. Western blot analysis was performed to assess the effect of BCYRN1 on different autophagy pathways. Finally, in vivo xenograft tumor model was constructed to analyze the effect of BCYRN1 on tumor growth and ASP resistance.Results: BCYRN1 was overexpressed in ENKTCL than normal NK cells, and patients with higher expression had significantly inferior progression-free survival (PFS). The IC50 value of ASP was significantly increased in BCYRN1-overexpressed SNK-6 cells and BCYRN1 overexpression could resist the inhibitory effect of ASP on proliferation. ASP could induce concurrent apoptosis and autophagy in ENKTCL, and the latter process was enhanced by overexpression of BCYRN1, mainly through affecting both PI3K/AKT/mTOR and p53/mTOR pathways. BCYRN1 could induce the degradation of p53 via ubiquitination, thus resulting in enhancement of autophagy and ASP resistance, which could be reversed by drug-induced autophagy inhibition. The effect of BCYRN1 on tumor growth and autophagy were confirmed in vivo xenograft model.Conclusions: It was found that BCYRN1 was a valuable prognostic biomarker in ENKTCL. BCYRN1 could promote resistance to ASP by inducing autophagy, which could be reversed by inhibition of autophagy. Our findings highlight the feasibility of combining autophagy inhibition and ASP in the treatment of ENKTCL.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Extra-domain B of fibronectin as an alternative target for drug delivery
           and a cancer diagnostic and prognostic biomarker for malignant glioma

    • Authors: Phei Er Saw; Xiaoding Xu, Bo Ram Kang, Jungsul Lee, Yeo Song Lee, Chungyeul Kim, Hyungsin Kim, Shin-Hyuk Kang, Yoo Jin Na, Hong Joo Moon, Joo Han Kim, Youn-Kwan Park, Wonki Yoon, Jong Hyun Kim, Taek-Hyun Kwon, Chulhee Choi, Sangyong Jon, Kyuha Chong
      Pages: 941 - 957
      Abstract: Extra-domain B of fibronectin (EDB-FN) is an alternatively spliced form of fibronectin with high expression in the extracellular matrix of neovascularized tissues and malignant cancer cells. In this study, we evaluated the practicality of using EDB-FN as a biomarker and therapeutic target for malignant gliomas (MGs), representative intractable diseases involving brain tumors.Methods: The microarray- and sequence-based patient transcriptomic database 'Oncopression' and tissue microarray of MG patient tissue samples were analyzed. EDB-FN data were extracted and evaluated from 23,344 patient samples of 17 types of cancer to assess its effectiveness and selectivity as a molecular target. To strengthen the results of the patient data analysis, the utility of EDB-FN as a molecular marker and target for MG was verified using active EDB-FN-targeting ultrasmall lipidic micellar nanoparticles (~12 nm), which had a high drug-loading capacity and were efficiently internalized by MG cells in vitro and in vivo.Results: Brain tumors had a 1.42-fold cancer-to-normal ratio (p < 0.0001), the second highest among 17 cancers after head and neck cancer. Patient tissue microarray analysis showed that the EDB-FN high-expression group had a 5.5-fold higher risk of progression than the EDB-FN low-expression group (p < 0.03). By labeling docetaxel-containing ultrasmall micelles with a bipodal aptide targeting EDB-FN (termed APTEDB-DSPE-DTX), we generated micelles that could specifically bind to MG cells, leading to superior antitumor efficacy of EDB-FN-targeting nanoparticles compared to nontargeting controls.Conclusions: Taken together, these results show that EDB-FN can be an effective drug delivery target and biomarker for MG.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Bruceantin targets HSP90 to overcome resistance to hormone therapy in
           castration-resistant prostate cancer

    • Authors: Sue Jin Moon; Byong Chang Jeong, Hwa Jin Kim, Joung Eun Lim, Hye-Jeong Kim, Ghee Young Kwon, Joshua A. Jackman, Jeong Hoon Kim
      Pages: 958 - 973
      Abstract: Rationale: Aberrant androgen receptor (AR) signaling via full-length AR (AR-FL) and constitutively active AR variant 7 (AR-V7) plays a key role in the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) and resistance to hormone therapies. Simultaneous targeting of AR-FL and AR-V7 may be a promising strategy to overcome resistance to hormone therapy. This study aimed to identify novel drug candidates co-targeting AR-FL and AR-V7 activities and elucidate their molecular mechanism of anti-CRPC activities.Methods: Using a CRPC cell-based reporter assay system, we screened a small library of antimalarial agents to explore the possibility of repositioning them for CRPC treatment and identified bruceantin (BCT) as a potent anti-CRPC drug candidate. A series of cell-based, molecular, biochemical, and in vivo approaches were performed to evaluate the therapeutic potential and molecular mechanism of BCT in CRPC. These approaches include reporter gene assays, cell proliferation, RNA-seq, qRT-PCR, mouse xenografts, co-immunoprecipitation, GST pull-down, immobilized BCT pull-down, molecular modeling, and bioinformatic analyses.Results: We identified BCT as a highly potent inhibitor co-targeting AR-FL and AR-V7 activity. BCT inhibits the transcriptional activity of AR-FL/AR-V7 and downregulates their target genes in CRPC cells. In addition, BCT efficiently suppresses tumor growth and metastasis of CRPC cells. Mechanistically, BCT disrupts the interaction of HSP90 with AR-FL/AR-V7 by directly binding to HSP90 and inhibits HSP90 chaperone function, leading to degradation of AR-FL/AR-V7 through the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Clinically, HSP90 expression is upregulated and correlated with AR/AR-V7 levels in CRPC.Conclusion: Our findings suggest that BCT could serve as a promising therapeutic candidate against CRPC and highlight the potential benefit of targeting AR-FL/AR-V7-HSP90 axis to overcome resistance caused by aberrant AR-FL/AR-V7 signaling.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Molecular machineries and physiological relevance of ER-mediated membrane
           contacts

    • Authors: Shiyin Lin; Tian Meng, Haofeng Huang, Haixia Zhuang, Zhengjie He, Huan Yang, Du Feng
      Pages: 974 - 995
      Abstract: Membrane contact sites (MCSs) are defined as regions where two organelles are closely apposed, and most MCSs associated with each other via protein-protein or protein-lipid interactions. A number of key molecular machinery systems participate in mediating substance exchange and signal transduction, both of which are essential processes in terms of cellular physiology and pathophysiology. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the largest reticulum network within the cell and has extensive communication with other cellular organelles, including the plasma membrane (PM), mitochondria, Golgi, endosomes and lipid droplets (LDs). The contacts and reactions between them are largely mediated by various protein tethers and lipids. Ions, lipids and even proteins can be transported between the ER and neighboring organelles or recruited to the contact site to exert their functions. This review focuses on the key molecules involved in the formation of different contact sites as well as their biological functions.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 2 (2021)
       
  • Temporal analysis of type 1 interferon activation in tumor cells following
           external beam radiotherapy or targeted radionuclide therapy

    • Authors: Justin C. Jagodinsky; Won Jong Jin, Amber M. Bates, Reinier Hernandez, Joseph J. Grudzinski, Ian R. Marsh, Ishan Chakravarty, Ian S. Arthur, Luke M. Zangl, Ryan J. Brown, Erin J. Nystuen, Sarah E. Emma, Caroline Kerr, Peter M. Carlson, Raghava N. Sriramaneni, Jonathan W. Engle, Eduardo Aluicio-Sarduy, Todd E. Barnhart, Trang Le, KyungMann Kim, Bryan P. Bednarz, Jamey P. Weichert, Ravi B. Patel, Zachary S. Morris
      Pages: 6120 - 6137
      Abstract: Rationale: Clinical interest in combining targeted radionuclide therapies (TRT) with immunotherapies is growing. External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) activates a type 1 interferon (IFN1) response mediated via stimulator of interferon genes (STING), and this is critical to its therapeutic interaction with immune checkpoint blockade. However, little is known about the time course of IFN1 activation after EBRT or whether this may be induced by decay of a TRT source.Methods: We examined the IFN1 response and expression of immune susceptibility markers in B78 and B16 melanomas and MOC2 head and neck cancer murine models using qPCR and western blot. For TRT, we used 90Y chelated to NM600, an alkylphosphocholine analog that exhibits selective uptake and retention in tumor cells including B78 and MOC2.Results: We observed significant IFN1 activation in all cell lines, with peak activation in B78, B16, and MOC2 cell lines occurring 7, 7, and 1 days, respectively, following RT for all doses. This effect was STING-dependent. Select IFN response genes remained upregulated at 14 days following RT. IFN1 activation following STING agonist treatment in vitro was identical to RT suggesting time course differences between cell lines were mediated by STING pathway kinetics and not DNA damage susceptibility. In vivo delivery of EBRT and TRT to B78 and MOC2 tumors resulted in a comparable time course and magnitude of IFN1 activation. In the MOC2 model, the combination of 90Y-NM600 and dual checkpoint blockade therapy reduced tumor growth and prolonged survival compared to single agent therapy and cumulative dose equivalent combination EBRT and dual checkpoint blockade therapy.Conclusions: We report the time course of the STING-dependent IFN1 response following radiation in multiple murine tumor models. We show the potential of TRT to stimulate IFN1 activation that is comparable to that observed with EBRT and this may be critical to the therapeutic integration of TRT with immunotherapies.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 13 (2021)
       
  • Progressive stretch enhances growth and maturation of 3D stem-cell-derived
           myocardium

    • Authors: Kun Lu; Thomas Seidel, Xiaochun Cao-Ehlker, Tatjana Dorn, Aarif Mohamed Nazeer Batcha, Christine Maria Schneider, Marie Semmler, Tilmann Volk, Alessandra Moretti, Andreas Dendorfer, Roland Tomasi
      Pages: 6138 - 6153
      Abstract: Bio-engineered myocardium has great potential to substitute damaged myocardium and for studies of myocardial physiology and disease, but structural and functional immaturity still implies limitations. Current protocols of engineered heart tissue (EHT) generation fall short of simulating the conditions of postnatal myocardial growth, which are characterized by tissue expansion and increased mechanical load. To investigate whether these two parameters can improve EHT maturation, we developed a new approach for the generation of cardiac tissues based on biomimetic stimulation under application of continuously increasing stretch.Methods: EHTs were generated by assembling cardiomyocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC-CM) at high cell density in a low collagen hydrogel. Maturation and growth of the EHTs were induced in a custom-made biomimetic tissue culture system that provided continuous electrical stimulation and medium agitation along with progressive stretch at four different increments. Tissues were characterized after a three weeks conditioning period.Results: The highest rate of stretch (S3 = 0.32 mm/day) increased force development by 5.1-fold compared to tissue with a fixed length, reaching contractility of 11.28 mN/mm². Importantly, intensely stretched EHTs developed physiological length-dependencies of active and passive forces (systolic/diastolic ratio = 9.47 ± 0.84), and a positive force-frequency relationship (1.25-fold contractility at 180 min-1). Functional markers of stretch-dependent maturation included enhanced and more rapid Ca2+ transients, higher amplitude and upstroke velocity of action potentials, and pronounced adrenergic responses. Stretch conditioned hiPSC-CMs displayed structural improvements in cellular volume, linear alignment, and sarcomere length (2.19 ± 0.1 µm), and an overall upregulation of genes that are specifically expressed in adult cardiomyocytes.Conclusions: With the intention to simulate postnatal heart development, we have established techniques of tissue assembly and biomimetic culture that avoid tissue shrinkage and yield muscle fibers with contractility and compliance approaching the properties of adult myocardium. This study demonstrates that cultivation under progressive stretch is a feasible way to induce growth and maturation of stem cell-derived myocardium. The novel tissue-engineering approach fulfills important requirements of disease modelling and therapeutic tissue replacement.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 13 (2021)
       
  • Inner retinal injury in experimental glaucoma is prevented upon AAV
           mediated Shp2 silencing in a caveolin dependent manner

    • Authors: Mojdeh Abbasi; Vivek K. Gupta, Nitin Chitranshi, Veer Gupta, Reza Ranjbaran, Rashi Rajput, Kanishka Pushpitha, Devaraj KB, Yuyi You, Ghasem Hosseini Salekdeh, Robert G. Parton, Mehdi Mirzaei, Stuart L. Graham
      Pages: 6154 - 6172
      Abstract: SH2 domain containing tyrosine phosphatase 2 (Shp2; PTPN11) regulates several intracellular pathways downstream of multiple growth factor receptors. Our studies implicate that Shp2 interacts with Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) protein in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and negatively regulates BDNF/TrkB signaling. This study aimed to investigate the mechanisms underlying the protective effects of shp2 silencing in the RGCs in glaucomatous conditions.Methods: Shp2 was silenced in the Cav-1 deficient mice and the age matched wildtype littermates using adeno-associated viral (AAV) constructs. Shp2 expression modulation was performed in an acute and a chronic mouse model of experimental glaucoma. AAV2 expressing Shp2 eGFP-shRNA under a strong synthetic CAG promoter was administered intravitreally in the animals' eyes. The contralateral eye received AAV-eGFP-scramble-shRNA as control. Animals with Shp2 downregulation were subjected to either microbead injections or acute ocular hypertension experimental paradigm. Changes in inner retinal function were evaluated by measuring positive scotopic threshold response (pSTR) while structural and biochemical alterations were evaluated through H&E staining, western blotting and immunohistochemical analysis of the retinal tissues.Results: A greater loss of pSTR amplitudes was observed in the WT mice compared to Cav-1-/- retinas in both the models. Silencing of Shp2 phosphatase imparted protection against inner retinal function loss in chronic glaucoma model in WT mice. The functional rescue also translated to structural preservation of ganglion cell layer in the chronic glaucoma condition in WT mice which was not evident in Cav-1-/- mice retinas.Conclusions: This study indicates that protective effects of Shp2 ablation under chronic experimental glaucoma conditions are dependent on Cav-1 in the retina, suggesting in vivo interactions between the two proteins.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 13 (2021)
       
  • A 9-kDa matricellular SPARC fragment released by cathepsin D exhibits
           pro-tumor activity in the triple-negative breast cancer microenvironment

    • Authors: Lindsay B Alcaraz; Aude Mallavialle, Timothée David, Danielle Derocq, Frédéric Delolme, Cindy Dieryckx, Caroline Mollevi, Florence Boissière-Michot, Joëlle Simony-Lafontaine, Stanislas Du Manoir, Pitter F. Huesgen, Christopher M. Overall, Sophie Tartare-Deckert, William Jacot, Thierry Chardès, Séverine Guiu, Pascal Roger, Thomas Reinheckel, Catherine Moali, Emmanuelle Liaudet-Coopman
      Pages: 6173 - 6192
      Abstract: Rationale: Alternative therapeutic strategies based on tumor-specific molecular targets are urgently needed for triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). The protease cathepsin D (cath-D) is a marker of poor prognosis in TNBC and a tumor-specific extracellular target for antibody-based therapy. The identification of cath-D substrates is crucial for the mechanistic understanding of its role in the TNBC microenvironment and future therapeutic developments.Methods: The cath-D substrate repertoire was investigated by N-Terminal Amine Isotopic Labeling of Substrates (TAILS)-based degradome analysis in a co-culture assay of TNBC cells and breast fibroblasts. Substrates were validated by amino-terminal oriented mass spectrometry of substrates (ATOMS). Cath-D and SPARC expression in TNBC was examined using an online transcriptomic survival analysis, tissue micro-arrays, TNBC cell lines, patient-derived xenografts (PDX), human TNBC samples, and mammary tumors from MMTV-PyMT Ctsd-/- knock-out mice. The biological role of SPARC and its fragments in TNBC were studied using immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence analysis, gene expression knockdown, co-culture assays, western blot analysis, RT-quantitative PCR, adhesion assays, Transwell motility, trans-endothelial migration and invasion assays.Results: TAILS analysis showed that the matricellular protein SPARC is a substrate of extracellular cath-D. In vitro, cath-D induced limited proteolysis of SPARC C-terminal extracellular Ca2+ binding domain at acidic pH, leading to the production of SPARC fragments (34-, 27-, 16-, 9-, and 6-kDa). Similarly, cath-D secreted by TNBC cells cleaved fibroblast- and cancer cell-derived SPARC at the tumor pericellular acidic pH. SPARC cleavage also occurred in TNBC tumors. Among these fragments, only the 9-kDa SPARC fragment inhibited TNBC cell adhesion and spreading on fibronectin, and stimulated their migration, endothelial transmigration, and invasion.Conclusions: Our study establishes a novel crosstalk between proteases and matricellular proteins in the tumor microenvironment through limited SPARC proteolysis, revealing a novel targetable 9-kDa bioactive SPARC fragment for new TNBC treatments. Our study will pave the way for the development of strategies for targeting bioactive fragments from matricellular proteins in TNBC.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 13 (2021)
       
  • The therapeutic potential of inorganic polyphosphate: A versatile
           physiological polymer to control coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

    • Authors: Hadrian Schepler; Xiaohong Wang, Meik Neufurth, Shunfeng Wang, Heinz C. Schröder, Werner E. G. Müller
      Pages: 6193 - 6213
      Abstract: Rationale: The pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is advancing rapidly. In particular, the number of severe courses of the disease is still dramatically high. An efficient drug therapy that helps to improve significantly the fatal combination of damages in the airway epithelia, in the extensive pulmonary microvascularization and finally multiorgan failure, is missing. The physiological, inorganic polymer, polyphosphate (polyP) is a molecule which could prevent the initial phase of the virus life cycle, the attachment of the virus to the target cells, and improve the epithelial integrity as well as the mucus barrier.Results: Surprisingly, polyP matches perfectly with the cationic groove on the RBD. Subsequent binding studies disclosed that polyP, with a physiological chain length of 40 phosphate residues, abolishes the binding propensity of the RBD to the ACE2 receptor. In addition to this first mode of action of polyP, this polymer causes in epithelial cells an increased gene expression of the major mucins in the airways, of MUC5AC and MUC1, as well as a subsequent glycoprotein production. MUC5AC forms a gel-like mucus layer trapping inhaled particles which are then transported out of the airways, while MUC1 constitutes the periciliary liquid layer and supports ciliary beating. As a third mode of action, polyP undergoes enzymatic hydrolysis of the anhydride bonds in the airway system by alkaline phosphatase, releasing metabolic energy.Conclusions: This review summarizes the state of the art of the biotherapeutic potential of the polymer polyP and the findings from basic research and outlines future biomedical applications.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 13 (2021)
       
  • A panel of selected serum protein biomarkers for the detection of
           aggressive prostate cancer

    • Authors: Jin Song; Shiyong Ma, Lori J. Sokoll, Rodrigo V. Eguez, Naseruddin Höti, Hui Zhang, Phaedre Mohr, Renu Dua, Dattatraya Patil, Kristen Douglas May, Sierra Williams, Rebecca Arnold, Martin G. Sanda, Daniel W. Chan, Zhen Zhang
      Pages: 6214 - 6224
      Abstract: Background: Current PSA-based tests used to detect prostate cancer (PCa) lack sufficient specificity, leading to significant overdetection and overtreatment. Our previous studies showed that serum fucosylated PSA (Fuc-PSA) and soluble TEK receptor tyrosine kinase (Tie-2) had the ability to predict aggressive (AG) PCa. Additional biomarkers are needed to address this significant clinical problem.Methods: A comprehensive Pubmed search followed by multiplex immunoassays identified candidate biomarkers associated with AG PCa. Subsequently, multiplex and lectin-based immunoassays were applied to a case-control set of sera from subjects with AG PCa, low risk PCa, and non-PCa (biopsy negative). These candidate biomarkers were further evaluated for their ability as panels to complement the prostate health index (phi) in detecting AG PCa.Results: When combined through logistic regression, two panel of biomarkers achieved the best performance: 1) phi, Fuc-PSA, SDC1, and GDF-15 for the detection of AG from low risk PCa and 2) phi, Fuc-PSA, SDC1, and Tie-2 for the detection of AG from low risk PCa and non-PCa, with noticeable improvements in ROC analysis over phi alone (AUCs: 0.942 vs 0.872, and 0.934 vs 0.898, respectively). At a fixed sensitivity of 95%, the panels improved specificity with statistical significance in detecting AG from low risk PCa (76.0% vs 56%, p=0.029), and from low risk PCa and non-PCa (78.2% vs 65.5%, p=0.010).Conclusions: Multivariate panels of serum biomarkers identified in this study demonstrated clinically meaningful improvement over the performance of phi, and warrant further clinical validation, which may contribute to the management of PCa.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 13 (2021)
       
  • Therapeutic effects of dihydroartemisinin in multiple stages of
           colitis-associated colorectal cancer

    • Authors: Bingjun Bai; Fei Wu, Kangkang Ying, Yuzi Xu, Lina Shan, Yiming Lv, Xing Gao, Dengyong Xu, Jun Lu, Binbin Xie
      Pages: 6225 - 6239
      Abstract: Colitis-associated colorectal cancer (CAC) develops from chronic intestinal inflammation. Dihydroartemisinin (DHA) is an antimalarial drug exhibiting anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects. Nonetheless, the therapeutic effects of DHA on CAC remain unestablished.Methods: Mice were challenged with azoxymethane (AOM) and dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) to establish CAC models. DHA was administered via oral gavage in different stages of CAC models. Colon and tumor tissues were obtained from the AOM/DSS models to investigate inflammatory responses and tumor development. Inflammatory cytokines in the murine models were detected through qRT-PCR and ELISA. Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signaling-related proteins were detected by western blot. Macrophage infiltration was measured using immunostaining analysis, and apoptosis in the colon cancer cells was detected by flow cytometry and western blot.Results: DHA inhibited inflammatory responses in the early stage of the AOM/DSS model and subsequent tumor formation. In the early stage, DHA reversed macrophage infiltration in colon mucosa and decreased the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. DHA inhibited the activation of macrophage by suppressing the TLR4 signal pathway. In the late stage of CAC, DHA inhibited tumor growth by enhancing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in tumor cells. Administration of DHA during the whole period of the AOM/DSS model generated an addictive effect based on the inhibition of inflammation and tumor growth, thereby improving the therapeutic effect of DHA on CAC.Conclusion: Our study indicated that DHA could be a potent agent in managing the initiation and development of CAC without obvious side effects, warranting further clinical translation of DHA for CAC treatment.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 13 (2021)
       
  • Deuterium oxide as a contrast medium for real-time MRI-guided endovascular
           neurointervention

    • Authors: Lin Chen; Jing Liu, Chengyan Chu, Zheng Han, Nirhbay Yadav, Jiadi Xu, Renyuan Bai, Verena Staedtke, Monica Pearl, Piotr Walczak, Peter van Zijl, Miroslaw Janowski, Guanshu Liu
      Pages: 6240 - 6250
      Abstract: Rationale: Endovascular intervention plays an important role in the treatment of various diseases, in which MRI-guidance can potentially improve precision. However, the clinical applications of currently available contrast media, including Gadolinium-based contrast agents and superparamagnetic iron oxide particles (SPIO), are hindered by safety concerns. In the present study, we sought to develop D2O as a novel contrast agent for guiding endovascular neurointervention.Methods: Animal studies were approved by institutional ACUC and conducted using an 11.7 T Bruker Biospec system and a 3T Siemens Trio clinical scanner for rodent and canine imaging, respectively. The locally selective blood brain barrier opening (BBBO) in rat brains was obtained by intraarterial (IA) injection of mannitol. The dynamic T2w* EPI MRI sequence was used to study the trans-catheter perfusion territory by IA administered SPIO before mannitol administration, whereas a dynamic T1w FLASH sequence was used to acquire Gd contrast-enhanced MRI for assessing BBBO after injection of mannitol. The contrast generated by D2O assessed by either EPI or FLASH methods was compared with the corresponding results assessed by SPIO or Gd. The utility of D2O MRI was also demonstrated to guide drug delivery to glioma in a mouse model. Finally, the clinical utility of D2O-MRI was demonstrated in a canine model.Results: Our study has shown that the contrast generated by D2O can be used to precisely delineate trans-catheter perfusion territory in both small and large animals. The perfusion territories determined by D2O-MRI show moderate correlation with those by SPIO-MRI (Spearman coefficient r = 0.5234, P < 0.001). Moreover, our results show that the perfusion territory determined by D2O-MRI can successfully predict the areas with BBBO after mannitol treatment similar to that assessed by Gd-MRI (Spearman coefficient r = 0.6923, P < 0.001). Using D2O-MRI as imaging guidance, the optimal infusion rate in the mouse brain was determined to be 150 µL/min to maximize the delivery efficacy to the tumor without serious off-target delivery to the brain parenchyma. The enhanced drug delivery of antibodies to the brain tumor was confirmed by fluorescence imaging.Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that D2O can be used as a negative MRI contrast medium to guide endovascular neurointervention. The established D2O -MRI method is safe and quantitative, without the concern of contrast accumulation. These qualities make it an attempting approach for a variety of endovascular procedures.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 13 (2021)
       
  • Molecular mechanisms of radioactive iodine refractoriness in
           differentiated thyroid cancer: Impaired sodium iodide symporter (NIS)
           expression owing to altered signaling pathway activity and intracellular
           localization of NIS

    • Authors: Ji Min Oh; Byeong-Cheol Ahn
      Pages: 6251 - 6277
      Abstract: The advanced, metastatic differentiated thyroid cancers (DTCs) have a poor prognosis mainly owing to radioactive iodine (RAI) refractoriness caused by decreased expression of sodium iodide symporter (NIS), diminished targeting of NIS to the cell membrane, or both, thereby decreasing the efficacy of RAI therapy. Genetic aberrations (such as BRAF, RAS, and RET/PTC rearrangements) have been reported to be prominently responsible for the onset, progression, and dedifferentiation of DTCs, mainly through the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT signaling pathways. Eventually, these alterations result in a lack of NIS and disabling of RAI uptake, leading to the development of resistance to RAI therapy. Over the past decade, promising approaches with various targets have been reported to restore NIS expression and RAI uptake in preclinical studies. In this review, we summarized comprehensive molecular mechanisms underlying the dedifferentiation in RAI-refractory DTCs and reviews strategies for restoring RAI avidity by tackling the mechanisms.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 13 (2021)
       
  • KAT6A, a novel regulator of β-catenin, promotes tumorigenicity and
           chemoresistance in ovarian cancer by acetylating COP1

    • Authors: Wenxue Liu; Zhiyan Zhan, Meiying Zhang, Bowen Sun, Qiqi Shi, Fei Luo, Mingda Zhang, Weiwei Zhang, Yanli Hou, Xiuying Xiao, Yanxin Li, Haizhong Feng
      Pages: 6278 - 6292
      Abstract: Background: Ovarian cancer is a fatal gynecologic malignancy that is found worldwide and exhibits an insidious onset and a lack of early warning symptoms. Despite ongoing studies, the mechanistic basis of the aggressive phenotypes of ovarian cancer remains unclear. Lysine acetyltransferase 6A (KAT6A) is a MYST-type histone acetyltransferase (HAT) enzyme identified as an oncogene in breast cancer, glioblastoma and leukemia. However, the specific functions of KAT6A in ovarian cancer remain unclear.Methods: Immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining and western blotting were performed to characterize KAT6A protein expression in ovarian cancer tissues and cell lines. The biological functions of KAT6A in ovarian cancer were evaluated by cell proliferation, wound healing and transwell invasion assays in vitro. Tumorigenesis and metastasis assays were performed in nude mice to detect the role of KAT6A in vivo. Mass spectrometry and immunoprecipitation assays were performed to detect the KAT6A-COP1 interaction. An in vivo ubiquitination assay was performed to determine the regulation of β-catenin by KAT6A.Results: In the present study, we revealed that KAT6A expression is upregulated in ovarian cancer and is associated with patient overall survival. Downregulation of KAT6A markedly inhibited the proliferation and migration abilities of ovarian cancer cells in vivo and in vitro. Additionally, the inhibition of KAT6A induced apoptosis and enhanced the sensitivity of ovarian cancer cells to cisplatin. Furthermore, KAT6A bound to and acetylated COP1 at K294. The acetylation of COP1 impaired COP1 function as an E3 ubiquitin ligase and led to the accumulation and enhanced activity of β-catenin.Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the KAT6A/COP1/β-catenin signaling axis plays a critical role in ovarian cancer progression and that targeting the KAT6A/COP1/β-catenin signaling axis could be a novel strategy for treating ovarian cancer.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 13 (2021)
       
  • Perspectives on metals-based radioimmunotherapy (RIT): moving forward

    • Authors: Jordan M. White; Freddy E. Escorcia, Nerissa T. Viola
      Pages: 6293 - 6314
      Abstract: Radioimmunotherapy (RIT) is FDA-approved for the clinical management of liquid malignancies, however, its use for solid malignancies remains a challenge. The putative benefit of RIT lies in selective targeting of antigens expressed on the tumor surface using monoclonal antibodies, to systemically deliver cytotoxic radionuclides. The past several decades yielded dramatic improvements in the quality, quantity, recent commercial availability of alpha-, beta- and Auger Electron-emitting therapeutic radiometals. Investigators have created new or improved existing bifunctional chelators. These bifunctional chelators bind radiometals and can be coupled to antigen-specific antibodies. In this review, we discuss approaches to develop radiometal-based RITs, including the selection of radiometals, chelators and antibody platforms (i.e. full-length, F(ab')2, Fab, minibodies, diabodies, scFv-Fc and nanobodies). We cite examples of the performance of RIT in the clinic, describe challenges to its implementation, and offer insights to address gaps toward translation.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 13 (2021)
       
  • CircUbe3a from M2 macrophage-derived small extracellular vesicles mediates
           myocardial fibrosis after acute myocardial infarction

    • Authors: Yan Wang; Chaofu Li, Ranzun Zhao, Zhimei Qiu, Changyin Shen, Zhenglong Wang, Weiwei Liu, Wei Zhang, Junbo Ge, Bei Shi
      Pages: 6315 - 6333
      Abstract: Objective: This study aimed to explore the role of circular RNAs (circRNAs) in M2 macrophage (M2M)-derived small extracellular vesicles (SEVs) in myocardial fibrosis development.Methods: The regulatory role of M2M-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) was evaluated in a mouse model of acute myocardial infarction. Immunofluorescence, quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR), nanoparticle tracking analysis, Western blot analysis and electron microscopy were used to identify macrophages, large extracellular vesicles (LEVs) and SEVs. The circRNA expression profiles of M0 macrophages (M0Ms) and M2Ms were determined by microarray analysis. Bioinformatic analysis, cell coculture and cell proliferation assays were performed to investigate the expression, function, and regulatory mechanisms of circUbe3a in vitro. qPCR, RNA immunoprecipitation (RIP), dual-luciferase reporter assays, RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (RNA-FISH), Western blot analysis and a series of rescue experiments were used to verify the correlation among circUbe3a, miR-138-5p and RhoC.Results: CircUbe3a from M2M-derived SEVs triggered functional changes in cardiac fibroblasts (CFs). CircUbe3a was synthesized and loaded into SEVs during increased M2M infiltration after myocardial infarction. The fusion of the released SEVs with the plasma membrane likely caused the release of circUbe3a into the cytosol of CFs. Silencing or overexpressing circUbe3a altered CF proliferation, migration, and phenotypic transformation in vitro. We confirmed that circUbe3a plays a crucial role in enhancing functional changes in CFs by sponging miR-138-5p and then translationally repressing RhoC in vitro. In vivo, the addition of M2M-derived SEVs or overexpression of circUbe3a significantly exacerbated myocardial fibrosis after acute myocardial infarction, and these effects were partially abolished by circUbe3a-specific shRNA.Conclusions: Our findings suggest that M2M-derived circUbe3a-containing SEVs promote the proliferation, migration, and phenotypic transformation of CFs by directly targeting the miR-138-5p/RhoC axis, which may also exacerbate myocardial fibrosis after acute myocardial infarction.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 13 (2021)
       
  • Multifunctional nanoplatforms co-delivering combinatorial dual-drug for
           eliminating cancer multidrug resistance

    • Authors: Xiao Wei; Mingzhu Song, Weijie Li, Jing Huang, Guang Yang, Yi Wang
      Pages: 6334 - 6354
      Abstract: Clinically, the primary cause of chemotherapy failure belongs to the occurrence of cancer multidrug resistance (MDR), which directly leads to the recurrence and metastasis of cancer along with high mortality. More and more attention has been paid to multifunctional nanoplatform-based dual-therapeutic combination to eliminate resistant cancers. In addition to helping both cargoes improve hydrophobicity and pharmacokinetic properties, increase bioavailability, release on demand and enhance therapeutic efficacy with low toxic effects, these smart co-delivery nanocarriers can even overcome drug resistance. Here, this review will not only present different types of co-delivery nanocarriers, but also summarize targeted and stimuli-responsive combination nanomedicines. Furthermore, we will focus on the recent progress in the co-delivery of dual-drug using such intelligent nanocarriers for surmounting cancer MDR. Whereas it remains to be seriously considered that there are some knotty issues in the fight against MDR of cancers via using co-delivery nanoplatforms, including limited intratumoral retention, the possible changes of combinatorial ratio under complex biological environments, drug release sequence from the nanocarriers, and subsequent free-drug resistance after detachment from the nanocarriers. It is hoped that, with the advantage of continuously developing nanomaterials, two personalized therapeutic agents in combination can be better exploited to achieve the goal of cooperatively combating cancer MDR, thus advancing the time to clinical transformation.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 13 (2021)
       
  • DEPTOR stabilizes ErbB2 to promote the proliferation and survival of
           ErbB2-positive breast cancer cells

    • Authors: Yanli Bi; Xiaoyu Chen, Bajin Wei, Linchen Wang, Longyuan Gong, Haomin Li, Xiufang Xiong, Yongchao Zhao
      Pages: 6355 - 6369
      Abstract: Rationale: Dysregulation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway occurs frequently in cancers, providing an attractive therapeutic target for anticancer treatments. DEPTOR plays essential roles in regulation of cell proliferation and survival by directly modulating mTOR activity. However, whether DEPTOR regulates the growth of ErbB2-positive breast cancer cells remains unknown.Methods: DEPTOR expression was determined by TCGA data analysis and immunohistochemistry of human breast tissue microarrays. The membrane localization of DEPTOR was demonstrated by immunofluorescence and subcellular fractionation. The interaction of DEPTOR with ErbB2 was determined by immunoprecipitation. Furthermore, the biological significance of this interaction was assessed by ATPlite cell growth, clonogenic survival, and flow cytometry-based apoptosis assays.Results: DEPTOR promoted the proliferation and survival of ErbB2-positive breast cancer cells by directly interacting with and stabilizing ErbB2. Specifically, DEPTOR translocates to cell membrane and interacts with ErbB2 to disrupt ErbB2 polyubiquitination and degradation promoted by β-TrCP, an E3 ubiquitin ligase. DEPTOR knockdown destabilizes ErbB2 by shortening its protein half-life to inactivate ErbB2-PI3K-AKT-mTOR signaling, leading to the suppression of cell proliferation and survival by inducing apoptosis. Ectopic expression of a constitutively active ErbB2 mutant completely rescued the reduction in cell proliferation and survival by DEPTOR knockdown. Importantly, DEPTOR expression is increased in human breast cancer tissues and its overexpression correlates with poor patient survival. Moreover, DEPTOR is located on the cell membrane in ErbB2-positive breast cancer tissues, but not in tumor-adjacent normal tissues, indicating that DEPTOR may contribute to the oncogenic characteristics of ErbB2.Conclusions: Our study reveals a novel mechanism by which DEPTOR promotes breast cancer cell proliferation and survival by stabilizing ErbB2.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 13 (2021)
       
  • Recent progress in nanomedicine for enhanced cancer chemotherapy

    • Authors: Guoqing Wei; Yu Wang, Guang Yang, Yi Wang, Rong Ju
      Pages: 6370 - 6392
      Abstract: As one of the most important cancer treatment strategies, conventional chemotherapy has substantial side effects and leads easily to cancer treatment failure. Therefore, exploring and developing more efficient methods to enhance cancer chemotherapy is an urgently important problem that must be solved. With the development of nanotechnology, nanomedicine has showed a good application prospect in improving cancer chemotherapy. In this review, we aim to present a discussion on the significant research progress in nanomedicine for enhanced cancer chemotherapy. First, increased enrichment of drugs in tumor tissues relying on different targeting ligands and promoting tissue penetration are summarized. Second, specific subcellular organelle-targeted chemotherapy is discussed. Next, different combinational strategies to reverse multidrug resistance (MDR) and improve the effective intracellular concentration of therapeutics are discussed. Furthermore, the advantages of combination therapy for cancer treatment are emphasized. Finally, we discuss the major problems facing therapeutic nanomedicine for cancer chemotherapy, and propose possible future directions in this field.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 13 (2021)
       
  • Human endoglin-CD3 bispecific T cell engager antibody induces anti-tumor
           effect in vivo

    • Authors: Liping Zhong; Wei Shi, Lu Gan, Xiuli Liu, Yu Huo, Pan Wu, Zhikun Zhang, Tao Wu, Hongmei Peng, Yong Huang, Yongxiang Zhao, Yulin Yuan, Zhiming Deng, Hongliang Tang
      Pages: 6393 - 6406
      Abstract: Rationale: Endoglin, also known as CD105, is a homo-dimeric membrane glycoprotein required for angiogenesis and serves as a marker for cancer vasculature. In this study, we constructed a bispecific T-cell engager (BiTE) antibody that targets human endoglin and CD3 (hEND-CD3/BiTE). We examined BiTE binding to endoglin-expressing cells and its effects on the cytolytic activity of T cells and cancer development.Methods: The in vitro effects of hEND-CD3/BiTE, including binding to target cells, T-cell activation, proliferation, and cytotoxicity, were examined in endoglin-expressing 293T cells, human umbilical vascular endothelial cells, tumor-derived endothelial cells, and CD3+ T cells. An in vivo xenograft tumor model was established using A549 human lung cancer cells. The therapeutic efficacy of hEND-CD3/BiTE was assessed by monitoring tumor growth, angiogenesis, and mouse survival.Results: hEND-CD3/BiTE specifically bound to endoglin-expressing cells and CD3+ T cells in vitro and stimulated T-cell activation, proliferation, and Th1 cytokine secretion, and promoted T-cell-mediated cytolysis of endoglin-expressing cells. The hEND-CD3/BiTE in vivo caused minimal toxicity to major organs, reduced tumor neoangiogenesis, inhibited tumor growth, and significantly improved mouse survival.Conclusions: Our study demonstrated the therapeutic potential of hEND-CD3/BiTE and provided a novel approach to clinical cancer treatment.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 13 (2021)
       
  • Metal-phenolic networks: facile assembled complexes for cancer
           theranostics

    • Authors: Wensheng Xie; Zhenhu Guo, Lingyun Zhao, Yen Wei
      Pages: 6407 - 6426
      Abstract: In recent years, metal-phenolic networks (MPNs) have attracted increasing attention for the engineering of multi-functional platforms because of their easy fabrication processes, excellent physicochemical properties, outstanding biocompatibility, and promising theranostic applications. In this review, we summarize recent progress in the design, synthesis, shape-control, biocompatibility evaluation, and potential theranostic applications of MPNs, especially for cancer theranostics. First, we provide an overview of various MPN systems, relevant self-assembly procedures, and shape-controllable preparation. The in vitro and in vivo biocompatibility evaluation of MPNs is also discussed, including co-incubation viability, adhesion, bio-distribution, and inflammation. Finally, we highlight the significant achievements of various MPNs for cancer theranostics, such as tumor imaging, drug delivery, photothermal therapy, radiotherapy, and chemo- and photo-dynamic therapy. This review provides a comprehensive background on the design and controllable synthesis, in vitro and in vivo biocompatibility evaluation, applications of MPNs as cancer theranostic agents, and presents an overview of the most up-to-date achievements in this field.
      Citation: Theranostics
      PubDate: 2021
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 13 (2021)
       
  • Neoantigen landscape in metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma

    • Authors: Mei Lin; Xiao-Long Zhang, Rui You, Qi Yang, Xiong Zou, Kai Yu, You-Ping Liu, Ru-Hai Zou, Yi-Jun Hua, Pei-Yu Huang, Jin Wang, Qi Zhao, Xiao-Bing Jiang, Jun Tang, Yang-Kui Gu, Tao Yu, Gui-Ping He, Yu-Long Xie, Zhi-Qiang Wang, Ting Liu, Si-Yuan Chen, Zhi-Xiang