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Lei Liang - Top 30 Publications

Regio- and Enantioselective Synthesis of Chiral Pyrimidine Acyclic Nucleosides via Rhodium-Catalyzed Asymmetric Allylation of Pyrimidines.

A direct route to branched N-allylpyrimidine analogues is herein reported via the highly regio- and enantioselective asymmetric allylation of pyrimidines with racemic allylic carbonates. With [Rh(COD)Cl]2/chiral diphosphine as the catalyst, a range of chiral pyrimidine acyclic nucleosides could be obtained under neutral conditions in good yields (up to 95% yield) with high levels of regio- and enantioselectivities (15:1 to >40:1 B/L and up to 99% ee). Furthermore, chiral pyrimidine acyclic nucleoside bearing two adjacent chiral centers has been successfully synthesized by asymmetric dihydroxylation.

Urachal mucinous adenocarcinoma with pseudomyxoma peritonei: A case report.

Pseudomyxoma peritonei is an unusual clinical condition, and the appendix and ovaries are reported as the primary sites.

Felodipine inhibits ox-LDL-induced reactive oxygen species production and inflammation in human umbilical vein endothelial cells.

Oxidative stress and inflammation are involved in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) inhibit the development of atherosclerosis, although the underlying molecular basis has not been completely elucidated. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of felodipine, a CCB, on inflammation and oxidative stress in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and to examine the underlying mechanisms of action. Oxidized low‑density lipoprotein (ox‑LDL) was used to induce an inflammatory response in HUVECs. The effects of felodipine were investigated by measuring the content of nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species (ROS), the mRNA and protein levels of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM‑1) and vascular cell adhesion protein 1 (VCAM‑1), and the mRNA levels of endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) and inducible NO synthase (iNOS), in addition to the adhesion ability of U937 cells to HUVECs. ROS and NO levels were significantly increased in HUVECs following 24‑h treatment with 25 mg/l ox‑LDL (P<0.01). The increase in ROS was reversed by treatment with felodipine. In addition, NO levels were increased following treatment with 1 µmol/l felodipine (P<0.05). The mRNA expression of ICAM‑1, VCAM‑1, eNOS and iNOS was increased (P<0.05). Administration of 0.1 µM felodipine significantly decreased the expression of ICAM‑1, VCAM‑1, and iNOS (P<0.05). The number of U937 cells adhered to ox‑LDL‑treated HUVECs was significantly increased compared with control, which was reversed by felodipine (0.1 µM). In conclusion, felodipine was demonstrated to inhibit oxidative stress and inflammatory responses, suggesting that it may be used to treat atherosclerosis.

miR-127 contributes to ventilator-induced lung injury.

Although it is essential in critical care medicine, mechanical ventilation often results in ventilator‑induced lung injury (VILI). Treating mice with lipopolysaccharide has been reported to upregulate the expression of miR‑127, which has been implicated in the modulation of immune responses. However, the putative roles of miR‑127 during the development of VILI have yet to be elucidated. The present study demonstrated that challenging mice with mechanical ventilation for 6 h significantly upregulated the expression of miR‑127 in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, serum and lung tissue samples. Conversely, following the downregulation of miR‑127 expression in vivo using an adenovirus delivery system, VILI‑associated pathologies, including alterations in the pulmonary wet/dry ratio, pulmonary permeability, lung neutrophil infiltration and levels of pro‑inflammatory cytokines, were significantly attenuated. In addition, miR‑127 knockdown inhibited the ventilation‑induced activation of nuclear factor (NF)‑κB and p38 mitogen‑activated protein kinase (MAPK). These findings suggested that the upregulation of miR‑127 expression may contribute to the development of VILI, through the modulation of pulmonary permeability, the induction of histopathological alterations, and the potentiation of inflammatory responses involving NF‑κB and p38 MAPK‑associated signaling pathways.

2-Substituted-thio-N-(4-substituted-thiazol/1H-imidazol-2-yl)acetamides as BACE1 inhibitors: Synthesis, biological evaluation and docking studies.

In this work, a series of 2-substituted-thio-N-(4-substituted-thiazol/1H-imidazol-2-yl)acetamide derivatives were developed as β-secretase (BACE-1) inhibitors. Supported by docking study, a small library of derivatives were designed, synthesized and biologically evaluated in vitro. In addition, the selected compounds were tested with affinity (KD) towards BACE-1, blood brain barrier (BBB) permeability and cytotoxicity. The studies revealed that the most potent analog 41 (IC50 = 4.6 μM) with high predicted BBB permeability and low cellular cytotoxicity, could serve as a good lead structure for further optimization.

Protective effects of Oviductus Ranae-containing serum on oxidative stress-induced apoptosis in rat ovarian granulosa cells.

Oviductus Ranae (OR) is a traditional Chinese medicine derived from Rana temporaria chensinensis David, and is known to have a wide variety of pharmacological effects.

Reliability and validity analyses are essential for questionnaire research.

Visible-Light-Mediated Monoselective Ortho C-H Arylation of 6-Arylpurine Nucleosides with Diazonium Salts.

A combined palladium- and photoredox-catalyzed monoselective arylation of 6-arylpurine nucleosides has been developed by employing purine as a directing group via the photoredox reaction, and many functional groups are well tolerated in this direct C-H arylation condition. Various of functionalized purines (nucleosides) which are potentially of great importance in medicinal chemistry could be obtained under visible light irradiation at room temperature within 4 h.

Discovery of a cobalt complex with high MEK1 binding affinity.

A series of Schiff base ligands (L(1)-L(5)) and their cobalt(II) complexes (1-5) were designed and synthesized for MEK1 binding experiment. The biological evaluation results showed that Bis(N,N'-disalicylidene)-3,4-phenylenediamine-cobalt(II) 1 and Bis(N,N'-disalicylidene)-1,2-cyclohexanediamine-cobalt(II) 2 are much more effective than the parent Schiff bases (L(1) and L(2)). Importantly, 2 exhibited MEK1 binding affinity with IC5071nM, which is so far the best result for metal complexes and more potent than U0126 (7.02μM) and AZD6244 (2.20μM). Docking study was used to elucidate the binding modes of complex 2 with MEK1. Thus cobalt(II) complex 2 may be further developed as a novel MEK1 inhibitor.

Revelation of the dynamic progression of hypoxia-reoxygenation injury by visualization of the lysosomal hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) plays an important role in pathological conditions, such as cerebral ischemia-reperfusion (I-R) injury. Fluorescent probes may serve as valuable tools to detect the amount, temporal and spatial distribution of H2O2 in living cells. To investigate the role of lysosomal H2O2 involved in cerebral I-R injury, we designed and synthesized a lysosome-targetable two-photon fluorescent probe ztl-4, through expansion and substitution of the original pyridazinone scaffold, conjugation of electronic-donating aromatic ring and precise terminal modification of the alkyl linker. The probe ztl-4 exhibited fast, sensitive and highly selective response toward H2O2. ztl-4 could image exogenous H2O2 in SH-SY5Y cells and brain slices. In addition, ztl-4 was located in lysosomes with high colocalization coefficient compared with LysoTracker. ztl-4 was further applied for detecting the endogenous generation of H2O2 in SH-SY5Y cells subjected to oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) or OGD/reoxygenation (OGD/R) injury. Both OGD- and OGD/R-induced cell injury caused a time-dependent increase of H2O2 production within lysosomes. Moreover, OGD/R-treated cells showed much more amount of H2O2 than OGD-treated cells, indicating that reoxygenation will promote H2O2 accumulation in lysosomes of post-hypoxia cells. Therefore, the probe is suitable for monitoring the dynamic changes of lysosomal H2O2 in cells.

UW Imaging of Seismic-Physical-Models in Air Using Fiber-Optic Fabry-Perot Interferometer.

A fiber-optic Fabry-Perot interferometer (FPI) has been proposed and demonstrated for the ultrasound wave (UW) imaging of seismic-physical models. The sensor probe comprises a single mode fiber (SMF) that is inserted into a ceramic tube terminated by an ultra-thin gold film. The probe performs with an excellent UW sensitivity thanks to the nanolayer gold film, and thus is capable of detecting a weak UW in air medium. Furthermore, the compact sensor is a symmetrical structure so that it presents a good directionality in the UW detection. The spectral band-side filter technique is used for UW interrogation. After scanning the models using the sensing probe in air, the two-dimensional (2D) images of four physical models are reconstructed.

High-Frequency Fiber-Optic Ultrasonic Sensor Using Air Micro-Bubble for Imaging of Seismic Physical Models.

A micro-fiber-optic Fabry-Perot interferometer (FPI) is proposed and demonstrated experimentally for ultrasonic imaging of seismic physical models. The device consists of a micro-bubble followed by the end of a single-mode fiber (SMF). The micro-structure is formed by the discharging operation on a short segment of hollow-core fiber (HCF) that is spliced to the SMF. This micro FPI is sensitive to ultrasonic waves (UWs), especially to the high-frequency (up to 10 MHz) UW, thanks to its ultra-thin cavity wall and micro-diameter. A side-band filter technology is employed for the UW interrogation, and then the high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) UW signal is achieved. Eventually the sensor is used for lateral imaging of the physical model by scanning UW detection and two-dimensional signal reconstruction.

Electrically pumped ultraviolet lasing in polygonal hollow microresonators: investigation on optical cavity effect.

Electrically driven ultraviolet lasing was realized in two-dimensional ZnO nanowall networks from Au/MgO/n-ZnO/n-GaN/In structure, and whispering gallery type resonant modes are responsible for the lasing action. We present a comparative study on lasing action based on nanowall networks with different micro-hole sizes. The representative diode (Device II) with a moderate micro-hole size exhibits an ultralow threshold current density of 1.01  A/cm<sup>2</sup>, and the lasing action can be sustained at a temperature up to ∼413  K, showing a good temperature tolerance. Moreover, the corresponding characteristic temperature for Device II was derived as ∼91.4  K. It can be qualitatively anticipated that this work will provide instructive guidelines for fabrication and development of high-performance ultraviolet laser diodes by using two-dimensional ZnO nanowall networks as the lasing gain media.

Correlation between plasma angiopoietin-1, angiopoietin-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-2 in coronary heart disease.

Angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) plays a critical role in inducing tumor cell infiltration, and this invasive phenotype is caused by up-regulation of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2. The relationship between Ang-2 and MMP-2 in atherosclerosis has not been reported yet. The aim is to measure the plasma concentrations of Ang-1, Ang-2 and MMP-2 and assess the correlation between the concentrations of these factors in coronary heart disease (CHD) patients.

Silencing of long non-coding RNA SBDSP1 suppresses tumor growth and invasion in colorectal cancer.

Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play critical roles in tumor development and progression. This study was undertaken to examine the expression and biological functions of a novel lncRNA SBDSP1 in colorectal cancer (CRC). Quantitative real-time PCR analysis was used to measure the expression of SBDSP1 in CRC tissues and cell lines. Knockdown of SBDSP1 via short hairpin RNA technology was performed to determine the roles of SBDSP1 in CRC cell growth, colony formation, cell cycle progression, migration, and invasion. The effect of SBDSP1 knockdown on tumorigenesis of CRC cells was investigated in a subcutaneous tumor mouse model. Western blot analysis was done to examine the involvement of signaling pathways in the action of SBDSP1. Notably, SBDSP1 was overexpressed in CRC tissues and cells relative to corresponding normal controls. Moreover, SBDSP1 expression was significantly greater in CRCs with nodal metastasis than in primary tumors (P=0.0259). Downregulation of SBDSP1 significantly inhibited cell proliferation, colony formation, migration, and invasion in SW480 and HCT116 cells, which was accompanied by suppression of Akt, ERK1/2, and STAT3 phosphorylation. SBDSP1-depleted cells showed a G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and deregulation of p21 and cyclin D1. In vivo studies confirmed that SBDSP1 downregulation retarded the growth of HCT116 xenogaft tumors. Altogether, SBDSP1 plays an essential role in CRC cell growth, invasion, and tumorigenesis, largely through inactivation of multiple signaling pathways. Therefore, targeting SBDSP1 may have therapeutic benefits in the treatment of CRC.

Lipopolysaccharide promotes tumorigenicity of hepatic progenitor cells by promoting proliferation and blocking normal differentiation.

Hepatic progenitor cells (HPCs) are bipotential stem cells that can differentiate into mature hepatocytes or biliary epithelial cells (BECs). They are thought to be involved in repair of liver injury and the incidence of hepatic carcinoma. Their physiology is closely associated with the microenvironment where they reside. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), an important component of the hepatic pathological microenvironment, is stored in the liver and affects many types of cells in various hepatosis. HPCs may also be influenced by LPS. In this paper, mouse ED13.5 E-cadherin(+) foetal liver cells were isolated as mouse hepatic progenitor cells (mHPCs). Proliferation of mHPCs was promoted under LPS conditions both in vivo and in vitro. Moreover, LPS enhanced colony formation ability of mHPCs, and blocked them differentiation into mature hepatocytes and formation of a bile duct-liked structure. More importantly, long-term treatment with LPS promoted tumorigenesis of mHPCs in nude mice. Thus, we conclude that LPS may promote aberrant proliferation of mHPCs and restrict their normal differentiation. Long-term exposure of mHPCs to LPS increased the risk of tumour formation. These data provide insight into the links between LPS, HPCs fate, and tumorigenesis, and present novel insight into the relationship between HPCs and their microenvironment.

Discovery of a potent and highly specific β2 proteasome inhibitor from a library of copper complexes.

We reported the synthesis, characterization and biological activity of several copper(II) Schiff base complexes, which exhibit high proteasome inhibitory activities with particular selectivity of β2 subunit. Structure-activity relationships information obtained from complex Na2[Cu(a4s1)] demonstrated that distinct bonding modes in β2 and β5 subunits determines its selectivity and potent inhibition for β2 subunit.

Mesenchymal stem cells with Sirt1 overexpression suppress breast tumor growth via chemokine-dependent natural killer cells recruitment.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are generally used in regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and therapy for immune disorder diseases. However, due to the immunosuppressive function of MSCs, the application of MSCs in breast cancer therapy remains limited. Sirt1 is the closest mammalian homologue of the yeast enzyme Sir2 which has an established capacity to influence yeast replicative lifespan. In this study, we demonstrated the effect of MSCs with Sirt1 overexpression (MSCs-Sirt1) in mice bearing 4T1 breast cancer and investigated the underlying mechanism. Firstly, we found that MSCs could accelerate breast tumor growth with promoted proliferation and inhibited apoptosis, whereas MSCs-Sirt1 significantly suppressed tumor growth with proliferation inhibition and apoptosis promotion. Moreover, we detected that NK cells were the prominent antitumor effectors for the MSCs-Sirt1-induced antitumor activity. Besides that, CXCL10 and IFN-γ showed the high level expression in MSCs-Sirt1 treatment group. The impulsive effect of MSCs-Sirt1 on 4T1 cells in vivo could be reversed by inhibition of CXCL10 and IFN-γ. Overall, our results suggest that MSCs-Sirt1 can effectively inhibit breast tumor growth via the recruitment of NK cells in tumor inflammatory microenvironment.

Babao Dan attenuates hepatic fibrosis by inhibiting hepatic stellate cells activation and proliferation via TLR4 signaling pathway.

Babao Dan (BBD), a traditional Chinese medicine, has been widely used as a complementary and alternative medicine to treat chronic liver diseases. In this study, we aimed to observe the protective effect of BBD on rat hepatic fibrosis induced by diethylnitrosamine (DEN) and explore it possible mechanism. BBD was administrated while DEN was given. After eight weeks, values of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) indicated that BBD significantly protected liver from damaging by DEN and had no obvious side effect on normal rat livers. Meanwhile, BBD attenuated hepatic inflammation and fibrosis in DEN-induced rat livers through histopathological examination and hepatic hydroxyproline content. Furthermore, we found that BBD inhibited hepatic stellate cells activation and proliferation without altering the concentration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in portal vein. In vitro study, serum from BBD treated rats (BBD-serum) could also significantly suppress LPS-induced HSCs activation through TLR4/NF-κB pathway. In addition, BBD-serum also inhibited the proliferation of HSCs by regulating TLR4/ERK pathway. Our study demonstrated that BBD may provide a new therapy strategy of hepatic injury and hepatic fibrosis.

Mesenchymal stem cells overexpressing Sirt1 inhibit prostate cancer growth by recruiting natural killer cells and macrophages.

Prostate cancer (PCa) has become the second leading cause of male cancer-related mortality in the United States. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are able to migrate to tumor tissues, and are thus considered to be novel antitumor carriers. However, due to their immunosuppressive nature, the application of MSCs in PCa therapy remains limited. In this study, we investigated the effect of MSCs overexpressing an NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin 1 (MSCs-Sirt1) on prostate tumor growth, and we analyzed the underlying mechanisms. Our results show that MSCs accelerate prostate tumor growth, whereas MSCs-Sirt1 significantly suppresses tumor growth. Natural killer (NK) cells and macrophages are the prominent antitumor effectors of the MSCs-Sirt1-induced antitumor activity. IFN-γ and C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 10 (CXCL10) are highly expressed in MSCs-Sirt1 mice. The antitumor effect of MSCs-Sirt1 is weakened when CXCL10 and IFN-γ are inhibited. These results show that MSCs-Sirt1 can effectively inhibit prostate cancer growthrecruiting NK cells and macrophages in a tumor inflammatory microenvironment.

Controversies and evidence of hepatic resection for hepatocellular carcinoma.

Symptoms of early hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) often go unnoticed, so more than half of patients with primary HCC are diagnosed after their disease has already reached an intermediate or advanced stage, or after portal hypertension has appeared. While hepatic resection is widely recognized as a first-line therapy to treat very early or early HCC, its use in treating intermediate or advanced HCC or HCC involving portal hypertension remains controversial. Here we review PubMed-indexed literature covering the use of hepatic resection for such patients. The available evidence strongly suggests that, as a result of improvements in surgical techniques and perioperative care, hepatic resection can benefit many patients with intermediate or advanced HCC or with HCC associated with portal hypertension.

Inhibition of YAP/TAZ Activity in Spinal Cord Suppresses Neuropathic Pain.

Neuropathic pain, often caused by nerve injury, is a major clinical challenge. Mechanisms that underlie neuropathic pain remain elusive and effective medications are limited. Numerous investigations of pain mechanisms have focused on alterations and phenotypic switches of the nociceptive transmitters and modulators, as well as on their receptors and downstream signaling pathways that have already exerted roles in the pain processes of mature nervous systems. We have demonstrated recently that nerve injury may elicit neuronal alterations that recapitulate events occurring during development. Signaling of the representative activated molecule Wnt thus becomes a trigger for the development of neuropathic pain and is a potential therapeutic target. We report that the transcriptional regulators YAP and TAZ, which orchestrate Wnt response via incorporation in the β-catenin destruction complex, are key in the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain and may serve as an "ON-OFF" switch for neuropathic pain status in rats. Peripheral nerve injury causes rapid-onset and long-lasting nuclear accumulation of YAP/TAZ/β-catenin in the spinal dorsal horn. Spinal inhibition or knock-down of either YAP or TAZ suppresses mechanical allodynia induced by nerve injury or the pain initiators lysophosphatidic acid and Wnt3a. Promoting the nuclear accumulation of YAP/TAZ leads to mechanical hypersensitivity in naive animals. Further, we discovered a new small molecule, dCTB, which targets YAP/TAZ/β-catenin and can greatly suppress neuropathic pain and the associated neurochemical alterations. Our study reveals that YAP and TAZ are core mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of neuropathic pain and are targets in the screening for potent analgesics for the treatment of neuropathic pain.

Analysis of ROC: The value of HPV16 E6 protein in the diagnosis of early stage cervical carcinoma and precancerous lesions.

Cervical carcinoma is a multifactorial malignant tumor and diagnosis is therefore crucial. The aim of the present study was to examine the value of E6 oncoprotein, in human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16), in the diagnosis of early stage cervical carcinoma and precancerous lesions. Receiver operating characteristic curve was used to analyze accuracy of diagnosis. A total of 124 patients infected with HPV16 were included in the study. The patients had an average age of 46.7±6.9 years and duration of disease of 10.5±3.4 months. To determine the expression level of HPV16 E6 the immunohistochemical Elivision method was performed. Proportion/horizon positive cells were used to count the cells, and pathologic diagnosis was employed for analysis of the results. The average follow-up time was 2.6±0.7 years. Sensitivity and specificity of diagnosing HPV16 E16 at 1 and 2 years, respectively, were calculated. The diagnostic rate of cervical carcinoma increased with time, and the positive expression of HPV16 E6 was also increased with the development of the disease. Differences among groups were statistically significant (P<0.05). Sensitivity, specificity and accuracy (AUC) of HPV16 E6 diagnosis improved with time, and the differences were statistically significant (P<0.05). Thus, HPV16 E6 oncoprotein can be used as an indicator with good sensitivity and specificity to diagnose early cervical carcinoma and precancerous lesions. The results therefore showed that accuracy increased with the development of the disease.

Prognostic impact of programed cell death-1 (PD-1) and PD-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression in cancer cells and tumor infiltrating lymphocytes in colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is 3rd most commonly diagnosed cancer in males and the second in females. PD-1/PD-L1 axis, as an immune checkpoint, is up-regulated in many tumors and their microenvironment. However, the prognostic value of PD-1/PD-L1 in CRC remains unclear.

Effects of soil erosion and anoxic-euxinic ocean in the Permian-Triassic marine crisis.

The largest mass extinction of biota in the Earth's history occurred during the Permian-Triassic transition and included two extinctions, one each at the latest Permian (first phase) and earliest Triassic (second phase). High seawater temperature in the surface water accompanied by euxinic deep-intermediate water, intrusion of the euxinic water to the surface water, a decrease in pH, and hypercapnia have been proposed as direct causes of the marine crisis. For the first-phase extinction, we here add a causal mechanism beginning from massive soil and rock erosion and leading to algal blooms, release of toxic components, asphyxiation, and oxygen-depleted nearshore bottom water that created environmental stress for nearshore marine animals. For the second-phase extinction, we show that a soil and rock erosion/algal bloom event did not occur, but culmination of anoxia-euxinia in intermediate waters did occur, spanning the second-phase extinction. We investigated sedimentary organic molecules, and the results indicated a peak of a massive soil erosion proxy followed by peaks of marine productivity proxy. Anoxic proxies of surface sediments and water occurred in the shallow nearshore sea at the eastern and western margins of the Paleotethys at the first-phase extinction horizon, but not at the second-phase extinction horizon. Our reconstruction of ocean redox structure at low latitudes indicates that a gradual increase in temperature spanning the two extinctions could have induced a gradual change from a well-mixed oxic to a stratified euxinic ocean beginning immediately prior to the first-phase extinction, followed by culmination of anoxia in nearshore surface waters and of anoxia and euxinia in the shallow-intermediate waters at the second-phase extinction over a period of approximately one million years or more. Enhanced global warming, ocean acidification, and hypercapnia could have caused the second-phase extinction approximately 60 kyr after the first-phase extinction. The causes of the first-phase extinction were not only those environmental stresses but also environmental stresses caused by the soil and rock erosion/algal bloom event.

Negative to positive lymph node ratio is a superior predictor than traditional lymph node status in stage III colorectal cancer.

Negative lymph node counts has recently attracted attention as a prognostic indicator in colorectal cancer (CRC). But little is known about prognostic significance of negative to positive lymph node ratio (NPR) in CRC. Our aim was to determine impact of NPR on oncological outcomes in patients with stage III CRC. This retrospective study included 2,256 patients with stage III CRC under curative resection at Fudan university Shanghai cancer center. Kaplan-Meier methods and multivariable Cox regression models were built for the analysis of survival outcomes and risk factors. Accuracy of the NPR was assessed with the Harrell's concordance-index(C-index).X-tile program identified 2.38 or 0.55/2.38 as the optimal cutoff value for NPR to divide the cohort into high/low risk or high/middle/low risk subsets in terms of CRC cause specific survival (CCSS). In a multivariate analysis, NPR was significant independent prognostic factors for CCSS (P<0.05), notably, N classification was not an independently prognostic factor (P>0.05).Further analysis found NPR could give detailed prognostic classification for both N1 and N2 stage (P<0.05). Interestingly, patients in N2+ NPR >2.38 stage have similar survival outcome with N1+ NPR >2.38 stage (χ2=0.030, P=0.863), and better than those at N1+ NPR ≤2.38 and N2+ NPR ≤2.38 stage (P<0.001). The TNNPRM stage was more accurate for predicting CCSS (C-index = 0.659) than current TNM stage system(C-index = 0.628) (P<0.001). Collectively, NPR was an independent prognostic factor for stage III CRC patients, it could provide more accurate prognostic information than the current node stage system.

Rational Design of Fluorescent Phthalazinone Derivatives for One- and Two-Photon Imaging.

Phthalazinone derivatives were designed as optical probes for one- and two-photon fluorescence microscopy imaging. The design strategy involves stepwise extension and modification of pyridazinone by 1) expansion of pyridazinone to phthalazinone, a larger conjugated system, as the electron acceptor, 2) coupling of electron-donating aromatic groups such as N,N-diethylaminophenyl, thienyl, naphthyl, and quinolyl to the phthalazinone, and 3) anchoring of an alkyl chain to the phthalazinone with various terminal substituents such as triphenylphosphonio, morpholino, triethylammonio, N-methylimidazolio, pyrrolidino, and piperidino. Theoretical calculations were utilized to verify the initial design. The desired fluorescent probes were synthesized by two different routes in considerable yields. Twenty-two phthalazinone derivatives were synthesized and their photophysical properties were measured. Selected compounds were applied in cell imaging, and valuable information was obtained. Furthermore, the designed compounds showed excellent performance in two-photon microscopic imaging of mouse brain slices.

Discovery of 3-benzyl-1,3-benzoxazine-2,4-dione analogues as allosteric mitogen-activated kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitors and anti-enterovirus 71 (EV71) agents.

Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is a kind of RNA virus and one of the two causes of Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). Inhibitors that target key components of Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway in host cells could impair replication of EV71. A series of 3-benzyl-1,3-benzoxazine-2,4-diones were designed from a specific MEK inhibitor G8935, by replacing the double bond between C3 and C4 within the coumarin scaffold with amide bond. One compound (9f) showed submicromolar inhibitory activity among the 12 derivatives. Further optimization on 9f led to two active compounds (9k and 9m) with nanomolar bioactivities (55nM and 60nM). The results of enzymatic assays also demonstrated that this series of compounds were allosteric inhibitors of unphosphorylated MEK1. The binding mode of compound 9k was predicted by molecular dynamic simulation and the key interactions were same as published MEK1/2 allosteric inhibitors. In the cell-based assays, compounds 9k and 9m could effectively suppress the ERK1/2 pathway, expression of EV71 VP1, and EV71 induced cytopathic effect (CPE) in rhabdomyosarcoma (RD) cells.

Yifuning postpones ovarian aging through antioxidant mechanisms and suppression of the Rb/p53 signal transduction pathway.

Yifuning is a traditional Chinese medicine recipe that has been used for many years in China for its effects on treating climacteric syndrome in women. The present study aimed to demonstrate the effects and underlying molecular mechanism of Yifuning on the ovaries of aging rats. Selected aging rats were administered different doses of Yifuning (1.0 or 2.0 g/kg by lavage), and after 6 weeks the rats were sacrificed. The activit of indicators of oxidative stress in the serum were measured. The expression levels of 8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHDG) and p53 in the ovaries were examined using immunohistochemistry. The expression levels of the corresponding genes and proteins were detected by reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blotting analyses, respectively. The results indicated that Yifuning significantly prevented ovarian failure, as indicated by improvements in estrous cycling, reproductive organ weights and sex hormone serum levels. Yifuning significantly increased the levels of superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, catalase and reduced malondialdehyde and hydrogen peroxide levels. Yifuning reduced DNA damage in the ovaries by reducing the expression of 8‑OHDG and p53. Treatment with Yifuning significantly reduced the age‑induced p19, p53, p21 and Rb activity in the ovaries. The present study demonstrates that Yifuning prevents ovarian failure and the mechanism involved is partly associated with antioxidants and suppression of the Rb/p53 signal transduction pathway.

Quantitative Phosphoproteomics Reveals Wee1 Kinase as a Therapeutic Target in a Model of Proneural Glioblastoma.

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common malignant primary brain cancer. With a median survival of about a year, new approaches to treating this disease are necessary. To identify signaling molecules regulating GBM progression in a genetically engineered murine model of proneural GBM, we quantified phosphotyrosine-mediated signaling using mass spectrometry. Oncogenic signals, including phosphorylated ERK MAPK, PI3K, and PDGFR, were found to be increased in the murine tumors relative to brain. Phosphorylation of CDK1 pY15, associated with the G2 arrest checkpoint, was identified as the most differentially phosphorylated site, with a 14-fold increase in phosphorylation in the tumors. To assess the role of this checkpoint as a potential therapeutic target, syngeneic primary cell lines derived from these tumors were treated with MK-1775, an inhibitor of Wee1, the kinase responsible for CDK1 Y15 phosphorylation. MK-1775 treatment led to mitotic catastrophe, as defined by increased DNA damage and cell death by apoptosis. To assess the extensibility of targeting Wee1/CDK1 in GBM, patient-derived xenograft (PDX) cell lines were also treated with MK-1775. Although the response was more heterogeneous, on-target Wee1 inhibition led to decreased CDK1 Y15 phosphorylation and increased DNA damage and apoptosis in each line. These results were also validated in vivo, where single-agent MK-1775 demonstrated an antitumor effect on a flank PDX tumor model, increasing mouse survival by 1.74-fold. This study highlights the ability of unbiased quantitative phosphoproteomics to reveal therapeutic targets in tumor models, and the potential for Wee1 inhibition as a treatment approach in preclinical models of GBM. Mol Cancer Ther; 15(6); 1332-43. ©2016 AACR.